-- Killing a horse is certainly insignificant in comparison with many of the crimes noted here. But the senseless cruelty of killing a beautiful animal as some sort of sick fun shouldn't be overlooked either. "This was an especially horrific and
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Last week, I attended an immigration-overpopulation conference in Washington, DC, filled to capacity by many of America's finest minds and leaders. Writers, speakers, CEO's, representatives from Congress such as Tom Tancredo as well as former governors graced the podium. Bonnie Eggle, mother of the national parks ranger Chris Eggle, slain by Mexican drug runners last year on our unguarded southern border--gave a compelling speech that left not one dry eye in the place. Peter Gadiel, father of Jamie Gadiel, spoke powerfully on how the World Trade Center took his son and how nothing has been done since -- to stop the flow of illegal immigration into the United States. Even with the fašade of Tom Ridge's Homeland Security, 800,000 illegal aliens continue walking, crawling or tunneling across the Mexican border annually. Their accelerating numbers are undermining America’s ability to function.
Corporate recruiters who heavily court 2Ls each fall play an ego-reinforcing role for student. Although students are really supportive of each other there's still a lot of uncertainty. That's where the job recruiters play a big role because they really want you to work for them and unless you've done really well in class you don't know if the law school really wants you. There's not a lot of ego-stroking in class whereas the recruiters really do that. It's like realizing that you're still really competent in spite of how the classes made you feel. The recruiters are willing to fly you around the country and put you up in the best hotels. It's like instant gratification.
Insecurity making law students vulnerable to ego-stroking by corporate recruiters. Recruiters alleviate the "uncertainty" about self-worth generated by the first-year experience. Recruiters make students feel like "they really want you" -- a feelin that law school does not produce "unless you've done really well in class."
Law school, of course, does not end when the corporate recruiters leave campus. Between the fall of 2L year and graduation, at least two other experiences can deepen the feelings of inadequacy. The first is the clerkship season. Unlike the fall corporate job fest, not everyone who applies for judicial clerkships will get one. Many people who apply discover the hard way how competitive it is, and the experience -- particularly when fellow classmates are getting interviews and offers -- can be crushing. During this process, the gulf separating the students who performed well on first-year exams or made the Law Review and those who did not becomes most evident. Yet again, no one talks about it, or if they do, it is with the hushed tones of conveying a confidence, of admitting a failing, of voicing a source of humiliation. Because a clear hierarchy of judges and courts signals to the student and others exactly where this student fits into the rigid pecking order of the legal community, even those students who do secure clerkships can experience the process as ego-bruising if they found themselves passed over by the most prestigious judges. Failure to secure a clerkship at all can be even worse, providing a substantial blow to an already battered sense of self-confidence.
Working at a firm during the summer after 2L year also reinforces the process. At their firms, students find that their affiliation with the law school brings them some kind of respect and admiration, as well as the expectation that they will produce quality work. The students in the middle of the law school pack will likely not have enjoyed such positive reinforcement for some time, and it may lead to a renewed sense of the bifurcation of self along the lines described above: a secret "knowledge" that one is only of average ability in the legal context combined with a public self that seeks to convey self-assurance to match the perception of outsiders regarding how it must feel to be a law student. Because the summer experience fosters and enhances this bifurcation, the prospect of returning to the firm after graduation can come to seem extremely appealing. It can also, however, reinforce the sense that one has become, after all, a "corporate tool" who no longer possesses the wherewithal to pursue a career personally tailored to aspirations formerly held.
This is the ultimate effect of the process: any notion that a law degree confers great possibilities has long since been abandoned. Graduates are by no means broken, but their sense of agency has been sorely undermined. In general, they no longer view themselves as capable of having an impact on the world, much less setting it on fire.