Condescendingly Quitting

As happens these days, I wrote a post this morning that, upon completion, I decided not to publish. The reason is that it will resonate with those who already get it, and will enrage those who don’t. It was about law students. It was about mentoring law students. It was about narcissistic children who believe their opinions, particularly of the quality of “lol no,” are entitled to either validity or, at worst, lengthy discussion using words of explanation that leave them with feelings of support and empowerment rather than feeling called out as morons.

The problem is that they are too often morons. The problem is that some of them are ignorant and fragile children who not only feel entitled to spew whatever nonsense is in their head, but demand that it be taken seriously and treated as valid. Except for the fact that they’re morons.

It’s no longer a situation I’m willing to suffer, and so I unceremoniously end any engagement and leave them to whatever they need to do to salvage their lost dignity. I don’t like to think of myself as a quitter, but I quit.

One joke is that you can’t teach a pig to sing. Another is that you can’t fix stupid. But the reality is that some of these law students will eventually become lawyers, and they will be terrible lawyers. Not because they aren’t smart enough, particularly since it doesn’t take a genius to be a lawyer. Not because they don’t care enough, as they gush empathy out of every pore. But because they are too arrogant and narcissistic to realize that the practice of law is not about their fragility, their emotional need for validation, but about serving clients.

But they won’t be persuaded. They will get confirmation from their cohort of passionate gnats, and the handful of woke, if none too bright, lawyers dedicated to the mutual circle jerk of unwarranted self-esteem. And they will not miss me. I no longer wish to waste my time on these children.

I quit and will instead spend my limited time and attention only on those law students who show the potential to someday care more about clients than they do about themselves. Not the virtue-signaling way, but for real. The rest just disappear from my screen, and can take whatever comfort they like in my non-response to their idiocy. I should care, but I don’t. And so there is no reason to publish my post to explain the problem to those whose only reaction will be denial, deflection and anger. I wish you well, but you will have to grow up without me.

I will continue to spend my time with law students and young lawyers who show promise, who show the desire to serve their clients and hone their skills. For all those law students and baby lawyers who think they know better, you’re on your own. I quit.

14 thoughts on “Condescendingly Quitting

    1. SHG Post author

      For a long time, the concern that some of these kids might eventually be responsible for some poor schmuck’s life motivated me to try. I’ve finally reached the point where I recognize that it won’t help, and all it does is make me sad about the future of lawyers.

  1. Susan

    I empathize with this post, but I want to challenge you – not necessarily that you’ll get back out there but that you’ll appreciate that this situation is nothing new. And it’s certainly not new just with new or budding lawyers. (I know you know that.) Decades ago what drove me nuts about my own grad school experience was the lemming like march toward “it”. And, espousing grad school sized words that were the shiny balls that these lemmings used as proof that they were playing in the big time just seemed so comical even to me back then…and I was certainly in the at risk category. (To be fair, I certainly engaged in such behavior.) Decades on, I’m rather confident that’s just that age group trying to figure things out. So, they play dress up…until they realize, mostly a decade or even two later that chasing “it” is b.s. What I’ve seen is that we’re here to mentor those in that super frustrating demographic so if not now but at some point they level out…. Regardless, hang in there and focus even on one person….

    1. SHG Post author

      All us “olds” remember when we were young, little snot-noses full of our budding self-importance and desperately wanting to be taken seriously rather than treated like the little shits we were. Is it different today or is this just the same arrogance of youth that’s always been around?

      Having done this for a while, I’m of the view that it’s different. It won’t stop me from mentoring those who I believe can benefit from it (so it’s not about “even one person,” as there are quite a few), but about those whom I consider unworthy of my time and will leave to the law gods and judges to fix. My only regret is that clients will suffer them.

  2. Hunting Guy

    The problem is that it isn’t just in the legal field. It’s all through the engineering field as well.

    In the legal profession you screw one client at a time. In engineering you kill a bunch when the bridge comes down or the mine shaft collapses or the plane falls out of the sky.

    But humans will survive. I’m not so sure about our civilization.

    1. SHG Post author

      No, it’s not just law. That’s just my tiny slice of the world, and no doubt the same infantile arrogance pervades all professions. Think pink bridges.

      1. Dave

        I take comfort from the apparent universiality of Sturgeon’s Law – which is roughly, “Ninety percent of everything is crap”

  3. Guitardave

    I’m not sure the word “quit” is the right word. Personally, I admire your tenacity in fighting the boneheads. It’s one of the reasons i initially checked in to this hotel. The trouble is that over time you see that your just tilting windmills.
    The realization of such futility, along with the understanding that you only have a limited amount of energy to give, brings one to this place you’re at. The decision you’ve made is the result of proper introspection. The obvious course of action is to redirect your limited energy to where it’s most useful. That’s not what i call “quitting”.
    I recall a man i really admired (RIP J.T.)…a man who fought evil and suffered unimaginable consequences for it…saying in the latter years of his life, ” i’m tired of wasting my energy fighting the “bad” and from here on out I’m spending it to help the “good” ” That’s not quitting.

    1. SHG Post author

      It’s a good perspective, but I can’t help but watch as public defense, for example, has fallen captive as a whole to social justice insanity. Even those who get it feel compelled to remain silent lest they be ousted for caring more about their clients than the cause. I keep in mind my old pal Dennis, who trained incoming PDs, and gave up when he reached the point of concluding they were untrainable as they refused to accept the premise that they didn’t know more than he did about everything.

      1. Guitardave

        I see what your saying. There is no joy…no peaceful place to rest, when you’re watching a train wreck you can’t stop…when you know innocents will suffer from the arrogance of the woke.
        I hope you can find some respite in helping the younger ones who have the energy and understanding to continue the fight. It appears to be the only thing left to do that could make a difference, and it’s much more productive than wasting it on those who refuse to listen.

  4. Morgan O.

    I think focusing on the good ones will be enough. There will be broken lives, but I think that enough people will click when they hear their PD ask first about their pronouns that they will start demanding something else. Someone will fill the gap, some kind of non-governmental indigent defense. And when every defendant says “hell no, I dont want you weirdo PD, I want one of them assholes from [insert name here]”, the crisis will cause the current scheme to change or die. In the meantime, as someone who teaches the next wave of his profession, I can (humbly) say I think you’re on the right path. Keep enough of a spark going, and when the wind blows itself calm the fire can start again.

  5. F. Lee Billy

    There is no joy in Mudville tonite. You’re not a quitter as long as there’s Twtter. Just ask our moronic Commander in Chief? Ha!
    Get all the young you can, and get em all while they’re young. The legal profession is is the most corrupt, disingenuous, dishonest, despicable profession on the planet, bar none. Let the newbies discover that for themselves. Is there not a golf course or tennis court near you? Can you still ride a bicycle, or walk/jog a mile or two? Huh, huh!

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