By: Kristi Tousignant
For many journalists, making the transition into a law career is an easy, if not common one.
That is, unless you are disgraced former reporter Stephen Glass.
Glass made waves in the media world in 1998 after it was discovered that 42 of the articles he had written for The New Republic in two years were fabricated or partially fabricated. (The saga is chronicled in the movie, “Shattered Glass,” starring Hayden Christensen in a role that portrays Glass as savvy and manipulative.)
Glass, however, turned to the law after being collectively shunned by the journalism world. Glass had been taking night classes at Georgetown Law while working for The New Republic and started day classes after the scandal broke. He later passed the New York bar exam, but when he applied for his law license he found out it would be rejected on moral grounds and withdrew.
Glass eventually moved to California and applied for his law license there in 2009. His request was denied, which he appealed in a closed trial. The judge ruled in favor of Glass and his opponents appealed to the California Supreme Court, where the case was opened in December. No hearing date has been set.
In the meantime, Glass found work at a California law firm, and Paul Zuckerman, the trial lawyer who hired Glass, wants to eventually make him a partner. Zuckerman, who has a history of substance abuse, said he wanted to give Glass a second chance.
According to an article on TheRecord.com, though, law professors are divided on whether Glass, with his reputation, should be able to become a lawyer.
“What grates me is the idea that he is not honorable enough for journalism, so let the lawyers have him,” a New York University law professor told the publication. “Why should the legal system bear the risk?”