It’s a truism that Big Law in particular looks down at night school lawyers – but that breed deserve a special mention for reasons that no Ivy League lawyer may ‘get’.
First, going to night law school is no easy task, particularly when you’re working all day. Rising to that challenge is something that the night school lawyer can be proud of.
AbovetheLaw’s Jill Switzer wrote a piece about them, expressing her admiration in particular for their total determination to become lawyers.
What sets night law students apart, in addition to going at night, is their absolute, unshakable determination to be lawyers. It’s not their default choice. If they can survive night law school, the demands that it places on them, and the bar exam, then they can survive the rough and tumble of practice. More power to them.
She points out the fact that their maturity and life experience make them particular assets in the legal world. They are, she writes, the unsung heroes and heroines of the legal world.
Those who go to a top-tier/elite law school and then on to a top tier/elite law firm are a minority. They’re especially lucky if they receive full scholarships or if the Bank of Mom and Dad underwrites the law school education, which reduces, if not eliminates, the financial pressure that many of us have had and will have.
She points out that most lawyers don’t work at Big Law and nor do they bill at $1000 an hour. They do, however, “sniff at” those who have not been so advantaged.
It’s an important reminder and an ode to the night class lawyer that deserves a read, if only because too many in an increasingly elitist profession overlook the fact that night school lawyers can also make truly great lawyers.
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