« on: April 24, 2011, 12:07:57 AM »
I understand your objection. I just think that saying that if you study an hour a day for the LSAT, that this is somehow an indication that you simply don't have what it takes to be a successful lawyer is a bunch of BS.
Let's try a different tack? Did you play sports? Did you play football? After all, that was probably the most highly visible sport at your school. If you didn't play football, then frankly, you don't have what it takes to be a successful lawyer. Because a successful lawyer would do whatever it took to give 100% at everything.
Thane and I may officially be beating the proverbial dead horse here, but I'll give it another go. Your last post indicates to me that you missing Thane's point completely.
The first paragraph I quoted above does not accurately reflect Thane's point. The second quoted paragraph does not follow from Thane's actual point. Ditto for the rest of your post.
Let's try another tack.
For the moment, forget the LSAT, forget law school, forget the bar exam. Let's instead focus on the practice of law, which is what this is ultimately about.
The actual practice of law is a perfectionistic existence. Your job is to get the best possible result for your client. You are not supposed to decide that "5-to-10 is a pretty good plea bargain. I might be able to get it down to 5-to-8 if I spent another day researching, but the House marathon is starting, so I guess 5-to-10 will have to do."
Bad lawyers do in fact make exactly that type of decision - but good lawyers do not, or at least they work very hard to avoid them.
To apply that more directly to the life of a junior associate: If you give me a memo that has an unacceptable number of typos in it (i.e., more than zero), I will point them out to you. If you flush with embarassment and fix the typos immediately, then you bought yourself another few chances. If, on the other hand, you tell me that you intentionally didn't proofread carefully because you thought the memo was already good enough, then your career prospects are not good.
Here's something to ponder: Take two junior associate research memos. They are identical in all respects, except two. Both memos correctly identify the legal issues and current state of the law, but one memo reaches the wrong conclusion. The memo that reaches the right conclusion, however, is riddled with typos and poor grammar.
Given a choice between those two memos, I would rather have the memo with the wrong conclusion than the memo with the typos.
Or, more specifically, I would rather have the associate who authored the wrong memo than the associate who authored the sloppy memo.
This is because sloppy tells me you don't care, and you didn't try hard. You unilaterally decided that the memo was "good enough." We don't expect junior associates to know anything - we DO expect them to work hard, be diligent, and take everything very, very seriously. You'll learn substance on the job, but I don't know how to teach an attitude of perfection.
I don't mind people who fail. Everyone fails. What I don't like is people who fail because they couldn't be bothered to try hard enough.