I’ve just finished reading, and rather enjoyed, Tyler Cowen’s latest book: Average is Over. At a macro level, it is a claim about the dramatic changes we can expect in the economy and our society over the next century. But it has a lot of strange side discussions I wasn’t really expecting. I still can’t figure out if it is utopian or dystopian.
In any event, much of the book is sort of about “how to get a good job” and “what kids today should be doing” and I thought readers would be interested in what Cowen had to say about legal education and the legal job market.
First there was this:
So a young person gets a good education and is deciding what to do with it. Why are so many of these people going into finance, law, and consulting?
There is a common impression — by no means illusory — that smart young people from top schools can walk into high-paying jobs in these areas with relative ease, even if they don’t have much or indeed any real-world experience. They start at salaries above the US median household income, and very quickly many of them are earning above six figures. . . . Beneath all the chatter is a sense that these salaries are possibly unmerited or unjust, because, to repeat an expression I used to hear from my father (he was a businessman of the old school): “I wouldn’t trust him in charge of a candy store.” If you took a few of these same young workers out of the consulting firm and put them on a factory floor, they probably would be lost. They do seem to be an impractical bunch. . . .
These freshly minted students will seek out jobs that rewards a