Dana Lithwick asks What Are Liberal Law Students So Sad About? Her conclusion is that liberal law students are sad because their liberal legal heroes can’t seem to get on the Supreme Court:
Since it’s April, and America’s law students have nothing else to do (kidding!), I’ve done a bunch of talks with student groups and classes in recent weeks. One of the most notable things about these events is the extent to which progressive students, faced with a Supreme Court vacancy, a Democratic president, and a Democratic Congress, are bordering on despair…. It’s awfully hard to be inspired when your heroes are benched before the game even begins.
I understand the feeling. I never recovered from Robert Bork being Borked by a Senator who left a girl to die in a watery ditch at the side of the road and never spent a day in jail, while spending the rest of his life lecturing conservatives about compassion and decency. But that’s just me.
I have some alternative views as to why liberal law students are so sad:
- Conservatives are happier than liberals in general. It’s the nature of the universe.
- Religious people are happier than non-religious people, and conservatives are more religious than liberals.
- The Big Law model is failing, which means that liberal law students cannot do pro bono work for Gitmo detainees while getting paid $160k a year right out of law school.
- Liberal legal heroes are not that heroic because in a law school almost everyone is liberal; it’s about as hard as riding first class on a frequent flyer upgrade. By contrast, being conservative in a law school requires the right stuff, much like test pilots, the Mercury astronauts, and the people who walked on the Moon.
- Far more people self-identify as conservative than liberal, and leaving the liberal law school cocoon sucks.
- Law schools cannot change the first 5 reasons.
There may be other reasons, but these are a good start. I’m open to other suggestions.