My friend works in a small firm – a few lawyers, couple of paralegals and staff. They have a law clerk from an unnamed school working for them a few days a week.
Every couple of weeks when they get to work and check phone messages, there is a voicemail from some giggling, clearly drunk law students. These people apparently go to school with the law clerk and have called several times, after several cocktails, to rant about what a “loser” this guy is. I won’t go into detail, but there have been some not-so-great things left on this answering machine.
You might ask, upon reading this, the same question I asked: WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?!?!?
As a young lawyer who graduated from law school not too long ago, I can unfortunately answer the question: I know these people. Looking back at the students in my graduating class and the class years around me, I know exactly the type of people who would do such a thing.
And it bothers me.
I think about how these people will act once they “get out into the real world” (which they are in anyway during law school) and know that I wouldn’t trust them with a client’s well-being. This type of conduct should really trouble lawyers and hiring managers as they bring students in from law school that might not be mature enough to sit one-on-one with a client, represent the firm to other professionals, or handle sensitive matters.
So I have to ask – what, if anything, should or can we do about this? I know my friend’s firm, if they can figure out who these law students are, will likely write a letter to the State Bar under the assumption that the students will someday be applying for entrance. Maybe in Maryland, but maybe not – so should they have to write, then, to all 50 states?
My friend suggested instituting an interview process for incoming law students. Most other professional schools – medical, dental, dental hygiene, physician assistant – hold interviews as a prerequisite for admission. But what might that look like for law school and what questions might be asked to effectively weed out individuals with the potential to give the profession a bad image? How might hiring managers at firms adjust to account for this possibility? I’m not saying this is going to be the case every time, the majority, or even a large minority of the time – but it’s clearly out there.
I don’t know, maybe this is something that only bothers me. But, since I have an outlet to ask some other young lawyers reading this blog, please share some thoughts in the comment section.