I recently went back to Iowa for my friend’s daughter’s wedding. I hadn’t been back since I graduated law school almost 11 years ago. I also haven’t used my law degree for about 11 years.
I was an average student. I was looking for an average, medium-powered job and people get referrals based on how good a lawyer currently is; not on their rank in law school. (I get excellent referrals, by the way. They just have nothing to do with law.)
I walked in and almost felt a whoosh carrying me back to the past. I should have 20 lbs of books on my back and a constant prayer on my lips I wouldn’t be called on that day. But then I noticed a couple things:
1. The entrance has furniture now. There are actual chairs to sit on. We had chairs on the first and fourth floors but not on the main floor, where you spend a lot of your time. The ground was good enough for us, thank you.
2. There were TV screens in the building for announcements. It also displayed the weather. 11 years ago, we had to walk up to a board and read a piece of paper for our announcements. We had to look out a window to find out the weather. We had to earn our info.
3. The biggest change: the cafe serves Starbucks coffee and real food. I don’t drink coffee, but even I know this is a step up from the big black bags they used with “Regular” and “Decaf” stamped in white. And you didn’t stop here for lunch. You bought water, a Diet Coke and, on bad days, a giant Snickers. I think they had instant oatmeal you made yourself.
I worry about the future of the law. Because it looks like law students are getting soft.