The recent disclosure (by the New York Observer) that the anonymous legal blogger Opinionista is 27-year-old former law-firm associate Melissa Lafsky--following the recent disclosures (by The New Yorker and the New York Times) that former prosecutor David Lat was the voice behind the blog Underneath their Robes and that former Harvard law student Jeremy Blachman penned the blog Anonymous Lawyer--raises a question. Are all lawyers secret bloggers, frustrated writers or both? More important, should they keep their day jobs?
Lawyers and blogging go together like witches and stoning. According to a survey conducted by blogads.com, lawyers ranked fourth among both readers and posters to blogs. Many of the best-known blogs, such as instaPundit.com, are run by lawyers. It's easy to understand why blogging attracts the J.D. set: Few professions combine as much creative talent with so much mind-numbing work.
Each year thousands of otherwise perfectly normal college graduates with perfectly worthless degrees in the humanities venture into law school in the hope of landing a paying job that requires no science and little math. Many have been encouraged by college counselors who have told them that law school will "keep their options open"--code for delaying the inevitable for another three years--and it pays better than academia.
Law schools feed this myth because they need paying customers, even as the members of their own faculty are refugees from the very firms to which they are sending their students. Upon graduation, however, many students find that the entry-level jobs they get are little more than glorified secretarial positions. Sure, they pay well, but how many paper clips can you remove from a stack of documents before you start questioning your entire existence?