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Talk about putting your money where your mouth is. According to an article in Above the Law, a lawyer in Chicago, Matt Willens of Willens Law Offices started an Anything But Law School campaign because he says, “Too many of our best and brightest are pursuing a career where there just aren’t any more seats at the table.” Now that’s the kind of protectionism you wish the ABA would engage in. There are too many lawyers with too much debt.
Willens is offering a $1,000 scholarship to a winning undergraduate who chooses to pursue any post-graduate education besides law school. In a letter published by The Sacramento Bee, Willens writes, “Lawyers don’t finish their education when they graduate,” “They need extensive training and mentoring to develop their skills. But when new graduates hang a shingle because they can’t find employment, their clients are wronged and their own growth is stunted. They never reach their potential and the profession suffers. Many will never be employed in the profession at all.”
To be eligible for the scholarship, students have to fill out an application and write a short essay explaining why they are doing something other than law school. It is an interesting idea and one that clearly highlights the feeling that many people, both inside and outside the legal industry, have. There are too many lawyers and not enough work.
What are your thoughts about this contest? Do you agree with Mr. Willens that "there are too many lawyers with too much debt?" How would you approach this issue?