Summary: This article explores the unique way Yale Law School graduates think about their legal careers. To the untrained eye, these graduates may seem aimless with their careers -- taking jobs in academia and government instead of prestigious law firms. But on closer examination it appears that these graduates might have discovered the secret to greater career and life happiness. This article explains how most attorneys are rent seekers and how to make this system of rent work for you like Yale Law grads do.
The most important thing a law school can do for you is not just teach you the law, but teach you rules for how to think about your career. Maybe all these great minds at Yale Law School were thinking about career issues in a “better way” that I did not yet understand …
Law firms operate on the premise that some people will figure out the “hidden” rules and make the system work for them and others will not. Law firms generally do not care if you understand and figure out the rules because they have so much power and money they succeed either way. Very few attorneys ever understand the system and because of this most attorneys do not succeed in law firms.Law firms have something that most attorneys do not: They have large companies and clients willing to “rent” their services for much more than they pay their attorneys to do the work. They have reputations, brands, management systems, resources, offices, institutional knowledge and other things that allow them to charge a lot of money. Because they have access to this work and a flow of money coming in, they have much more power from an economic standpoint than most attorneys. Law firms have power while individual attorneys do not. Because this balance of power is so extreme, unless attorneys understand how to “exploit” and make this system work for them they will get crushed.
What makes Yale Law graduates different from other law grads? Share your thoughts below the article.