A group of law students wants to change that. Last night, Stanford Law’s Andrew Canter and Craig Holt Segall — along with roughly 125 students from the nation’s top law schools — emailed hiring partners and recruiting coordinators at the AmLaw 100 law firms. Their new organization, Law Students Building a Better Legal Profession, wants the country’s biggest law firms to sign-on to principles espousing a saner work environment for lawyers.
“We are writing as a group of over 100 law students to propose a change in the way we all experience our profession,” the email begins. “We are working to ensur[e] that practicing law does not mean giving up a commitment to family, community, and dedicated service to clients.”
What makes this request different from all others (yes, it's Pesach, so the phrasing is intentional) is that the law students have indicated that they're willing to take a pay cut as part of the trade-off for more reasonable hours.
Quixotic? Maybe, given the immense budgets that large law firms have structured. But these students' request has recognized the relationship between high salaries and long hours. It'll be interesting to see which firms, if any, sign on and which signatories, if any, actually follow through on a change in the pace of work.