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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Simkovic: Law Schools Should Not Pressure Their Students To Go Into Low-Paying Public Service Jobs

Michael Simkovic (USC), Should Law Schools Pressure Their Students to Go Into Low Paid, Thankless Public Service Jobs?:

recent report by a Harvard law school alumnus, Pete Davis, points out that law schools like Harvard serve the interests of wealthy elites by training primarily future corporate lawyers. (See also here). This is consistent with the available evidence on graduates’ employment, notwithstanding widely publicized—and dubious—claims of law schools being liberal or left-leaning.  

Whether or not this is a problem, and whether schools like Harvard should try to do a better job of training future business lawyers or try to steer their students away from business law, is a matter for debate. Davis appears to believe that business lawyers are incapable of serving important collective interests of society—or at least do not do as good of a job as public sector lawyers. According to Davis, law schools therefore have an obligation to discourage students from pursuing careers in business law.

My view is that the path toward resuscitating the public sector will entail convincing the American people to collectively share the burdens of civilization by voting for higher taxes and higher pay for public servants. Until public servants are paid fairly, no one but the very wealthy should feel any obligation to work in the public sector or encourage their students to do so. ...

Nor can law schools do much directly to reduce the gap in pay between corporate lawyers and those in the public sector. Even if tuition were free, this would leave a massive gap in lifetime earnings, working conditions, and future exit options that would still encourage many to pursue careers in the private sector. Indeed, the gap in rewards between the public and private sectors is growing. Rates for banking, corporate, and commercial lawyers have grown far more quickly than rates for lawyers in other practice areas over the last several decades. (More recent data shows this trend continuing).

Legal PPI

Corporate lawyers’ pay may seem high to some, but it is no higher than—and no less deserved than—the pay of the leading financiers and businesses people with whom they work. ...

The American people—through the federal government’s power to tax—can afford to pay a fair price for the talent and energy of skilled labor. Educators should think twice before pressuring their students to concede to work on disadvantageous terms.

The sacrifices of those who are public-service oriented may serve as little more than an excuse to enable the wealthiest members of our society to pay less in taxes than they can and—in the views of those who see value in the public sector and believe it should be served by a talented workforce—should.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2018/06/simkovic-law-schools-should-not-pressure-their-students-to-go-into-public-service-jobs.html

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Comments

Agreed.

Posted by: mike livingston | Jun 11, 2018 4:09:12 AM

This seems a false conflict. Serving the interests of wealthy elites and corporate interests does not seem at all at odds with being left-leaning or liberal these days. Today's wealthy elites and corporations are a far cry from the robber-baron families and railroad and coal and steel trusts of 140 years ago.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Jun 11, 2018 4:09:29 AM

"My view is that the path toward resuscitating the public sector will entail convincing the American people to collectively share the burdens of civilization by voting for higher taxes and higher pay for public servants."

...And Mike veers full-on into the realm of writing fantasy fiction. Quick! Get the Hypogriff's Hydrahorse to convince the struggling middle and lower classes to pay higher taxes so government workers can get higher salaries! To the Ochtocyclatron!

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jun 11, 2018 8:57:47 AM

No ruralcounsel, they are far worse. Rather than donating to real causes like Andrew carnegie, they virtue singal and pronounce progressive pieties while stealing everything they can get their hands out. Where carnegie produced jobs, they automate normal peoples existence away from them. Where carnegie produced libraries and learning, they give the ACLU and southern poverty hate center. Where carnegie was loyal to the country, they support toltatarian dictatorships and give access to Chinese firms.

Posted by: The Woke One #metoo | Jun 11, 2018 11:54:06 AM

UNE,

Perhaps you think we should just raise taxes on the billionaires?

Posted by: Don't tax me | Jun 11, 2018 1:42:56 PM

"Today's wealthy elites and corporations are a far cry from the robber-baron families and railroad and coal and steel trusts of 140 years ago."

Yes. They have more money and more power today than they did 140 years ago.

The Koch Brothers and the Waltons and The Bradleys and the Scafees have views that are not very different from those of the Robber Barrons of old.

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, with their giving pledge, are just ripping of Andrew Carnegie.

Posted by: Elite | Jun 11, 2018 1:46:09 PM

If Vermont wants to spend 23% of state product on government and New Hampshire only wants to spend 16%, don't be surprised if its easier to get good people to go into government in Vermont than New Hampshire.

Posted by: you get what you pay for | Jun 11, 2018 2:26:14 PM

If only billionaires made more than a trivial amount of their money from wage income, you might have half an idea. But good luck 1) trying to wring out higher taxes from the opaque international machinations they use to delay / evade / avoid taxes on the investments, assets, equity stakes, and IP that comprise most of their fortunes, and 2) fighting the headwinds of "Elitist Ivory Tower law professor wants to redistribute money from the pockets of the Noble Job Creators to Spoiled Government Workers who are already bankrupting states with their pensions and health care." I'm sure you'll win.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jun 11, 2018 10:56:30 PM

Now a days every Law Schools is Pressured their Students to opt low Paying Public Service Jobs and I am totally against it.

Posted by: GAURAV MISHRA | Jun 15, 2018 3:53:37 AM