Derek Slater is my former colleague at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, now serving as a policy analyst at Google. He's just published a barn-burning essay called "#noimnotgoingtolawschool: Or, Why I Love Legal Clinics as well as Lawyers and Law Professors That See Their Primary Job As Helping Students Reach Their Goals, Or, Disrupting Law Schools." Slater indicts the legal education industry as a system that produces debt-ridden, half-trained half-lawyers who have to go on to firms in order to actually learn to practice law. He calls for a refactoring of the legal education system around legal clinics, which, he says, will prepare lawyers to actually help clients.
If the thing you want to have an impact on is politics and/or the legal system:
then I’d still recommend you probably be an engineer, and that you direct your engineering talents to politics.
In the alternative: I would recommend you focus on where you have passionate beliefs, and surround yourself with really smart engineers and really smart lawyers. I would apprentice with those types of people, and show a willingness to get your hands dirty and work hard toward what they’re passionate about...
The first model I’d look at is how colleges are training really amazing software engineers. There is nothing inherently special about the people who are software engineers that make them better or more able to change the world. They’re not inherently smarter than lawyers. They are not unique or special snowflakes either.
They have just been trained better. The difference is that they have been trained to be immediately effective in the world. They are trained in ways that allow them to contribute to the companies they join right out of the gate. They know how to code.
Law students are currently the equivalent of someone asking Google or Facebook for a job, and saying “I don’t know how to code, but I know a lot of theory about the Web and I’ve looked at a ton of websites. I’m really smart. So hire me and teach me how to code, ok?”
(Image: UC Berkeley Law School Quote, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from taylar's photostream)
Michael Geist writes, “The global music industry has spent two decades lobbying for restrictive DMCA-style restrictions on digital locks. These so-called “anti-circumvention rules” have been actively opposed by many groups, but the copyright lobby claims that they are needed to comply with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Internet treaties. Now the head of the RIAA […]
The smirking, villainous pharma-hedge-douche-bro Martin Shkreli (previously) bought the rights to the anti-parasitic drug Daraprim — used to treat malaria, a disease that disproportionately affects the poorest people in the world — and jacked the price from $13.50/dose to $750/dose.
A ransomware criminal’s self-reproducing malicious software spread through a critical network used by the San Francisco light rail system, AKA the Muni, and shut it down; the anonymous criminal — email@example.com — says they won’t give it back until they get paid.
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]
You don’t need to get an advanced degree and take out massive loans to become a coder. This bundle of 10 courses was designed to teach anyone to code at home for less than it costs to go out for dinner. I was particularly impressed with this new 2017 bundle because it includes courses on […]