lawyers to the extreme

Jessica Clark

interesting bit from Campus ProgressLet’s be clear. Progressive lawyers do not make the big money. As the Honorable Stephen J. Fortunato said this weekend at Yale Law School ’s Rebellious Lawyering Conference, “To be a left-wing lawyer is going to cost you fifteen to twenty million dollars.”It does add up. Join a big law firm after graduation, defend corporations and start with a salary of $125,000 or more. By the time you’re forty, your salary can grow to more or less a million dollars per year. Work for the public defenders office, and that alluring sum shrinks. One day, far in the future, you might make a hundred thousand dollars a year. Maybe. If you’re lucky.In its twelfth year, the “Reblaw” conference hosted more than 500 students who aspire to this fate. To the student organizers of the conference, in a profession that by definition means working within the system, that decision alone makes these students rebels.

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Jessica Clark is a writer, editor and researcher, with more than 15 years of experience spanning commercial, educational, independent and public media production. Currently she is the Research Director for American University’s Center for Social Media. She also writes a monthly column for PBS’ MediaShift on new directions in public media. She is the author, with Tracy Van Slyke, of Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics Through Networked Progressive Media (2010, New Press).
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