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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, May 26, 2011

In Commencement Speech, Law Prof Tells Grads 'Get Over It'

My former Cincinnati colleague Sara Stadler, voted the outstanding professor at Emory Law School this year, has attracted a lot of blogosphere attention today (ABA Journal, Above the Law, Fulton County Daily Report) for her May 9 commencement speech in which she told graduates disappointed by the disappearnce of high-paying BigLaw jobs to "get over it."  (Sara's outstanding professor presentation begins at 33:15; her commencement address runs from 36:05 to 45:30 (the "get over it" line is at 42:00).)

Update: Above the Law, Emory Law Follow-Up: In Defense of Professor Stadler

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Please, do listen to the entire speech. I think the "get over it" quip is what may have brought attention, but this speech was far broader than about the legal job market. It was a thoughtful critique (as much as you can be in less than 10 minutes) of how the law in America has subtracted value to the economy and to society, and what each of them (law students) can do not to repeat these mistakes. I was impressed by this Prof. and the legal profession is well represented by the likes of her.

Posted by: MG | May 26, 2011 11:49:39 AM

I think the "get over it" quip is warranted. Sulking about the lack of available lucrative job prospects is not going to change anything, just as me sulking over buying my house in 2006 will not change the fact of my house being valued at 1/2 of what I paid for it. The generation graduating currently are very smart, but very whiney and impatient.

Posted by: Lt. Dangle | May 26, 2011 12:24:17 PM

I wasn't crazy about the write up in Above the Law. I think they unrealistically foster a sense of entitlement that is bad for new, young attorneys (or anyone at any stage of life for that matter). Jobs aren't a right. Yep, it's expensive to go to law school and it makes you go a little crazy, but no one is forcing Emory students to go to law school. It's their choice, now they deal with the consequences. Either fight for any job you can get, or be an accountant. Personally, I really liked Sara's speech and I'm very excited someone has come out and said something against this entitlement mentality that I think can often be rather infectious.

Posted by: AHayes | May 27, 2011 7:57:29 AM

I watched for the quip but I watched the whole thing and was absolutely delighted!

This woman has truly hit the mark with her observations about what the practice of law has become.

I only wish I shared her optimism that it can be changed to benefit the many rather than just the moneyed few.

But after more than 30 years in this business I greatly doubt it.

Posted by: John | May 27, 2011 10:00:34 AM