Sunday, September 26, 2004

Those Enterprising Stanford Law Students, Part II

A nice follow-up article from the Oakland Trib in the case of the Stanford Law grad-cum-alleged prostitute (see this earlier post for original story): Her classmates think she's swell. And they view her predicament as just a part of a larger problem: the fact that law students at top-10 schools almost universally enter "biglaw" firms to pay off their hefty law school loans. A fair point, though the logical progression from point A (alleged prostitution) to point B (the need for better loan forgiveness programs) strikes me as possibly a bit contorted.

But let's look at what these bright young lawyers actually say:
Monique Bordeaux Wilson, a 2002 Stanford Law graduate... said she and other alumni "feel there's an underlying issue here that's not being addressed." Students graduating from Stanford and other prestigious -- and expensive -- law schools often enter the professional world hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, she said, "in a position where we are indentured servants."
Now that is just rich. The fact that a Stanford grad apparently (still allegedly, at this point, I emphasize) turned to prostitution is not the real interesting story here. The media is missing the big story. Fortunately, we have Ms. Wilson to direct our attention to the real, big, important underlying issue: the "indentured servitude" of young lawyers earning, umm, let's guesstimate around 150 Gs per year. There are so many things wrong with Wilson's, for lack of a better word, reasoning, I don't even want to address the issue in detail. But if you'd like a real look at indentured servitude as it has been historically practiced in this country, check out this site. Based on the quotation below, and whatever knowledge you have of 21st century corporate employment practices, you can draw your conclusion as to whether Wilson's "indentured servant" analogy works.
...Indentured servitude was harsher and more restrictive than apprenticeship or service in husbandry. It was not, however, a form of slavery. Servants entered into their labor contracts voluntarily, and they retained some legal rights: they could bring suit and testify, own property, and turn to colonial courts for protection against abusive masters. On the other hand, they could not marry without their master's consent, and they had little control over the terms or conditions of their labor and living standards, although custom and local law did set limits and provide for certain minimums. Terms varied substantially, from four years for skilled adults to a decade or more for unskilled minors. And all could find their terms extended if they ran away or became pregnant. Servants could be sold without their consent, a necessity given the distance and terms involved. To sell an English youth "like a damn'd slave "at first shocked some contemporaries, but it was essential to the success of the indenture system.

Showing she's not content to quit while she's ahead, undeterred by the normal guides of logic or legality, Wilson continued to spin the alleged prostitution thing:

"Cristina decided she was going to do something else with her God-given talents, and I believe the vast majority of our classmates would tell her, 'More power to you,'" Wilson said.

Umm, except, that "something else" (a fine circumlocution, by the by) is, like, illegal. I would like to think that "the vast majority" of SLS grads, some of whom I count among my close friends, have a little higher standard of what kind of conduct they expect from their classmates.

Fortunately, Stanford has some smart administrators to try to quell the controversy (and not say asinine things.

Frank Brucato, Stanford Law's senior associate dean for finance, doesn't see it that way. "Stanford Law School makes it possible for all of its graduates to pursue all types of legal careers -- that is, 'legal' legal careers," he said, adding that the school in 1987 created a loan forgiveness program to pay off educational debts for graduates working in public service or government positions.

But back to Wilson, still hurtling forward on her own crazy trajectory, drawing viewers in like a crash at a NASCAR event

Wilson said alumni with whom she has corresponded about Schultz this week "don't see that it reflects poorly on Stanford Law School ... I think the idea of it has crossed a lot of people's minds, frankly."

Now, I had to read that sentence a couple of times to understand what the "it" was. When I finally figured it out (I think I'm right, but I'd love to be wrong), I was stunned, ashamed and a little titillated all at the same time. For the purposes of the above quotation, "it"=prostitution. Yep, according to Monique Wilson, Stanford Law School (2002), a lot of Stanford law grads have mulled prostitution as a career option.

Just to round out the lovely image of Wilson, I leave you with the Oakland Trib's following bits of biographical data on their principal source:

Wilson was co-president of Stanford Law's chapter of the conservative/libertarian Federalist Society, and now is general counsel of the Orange County Young Republicans as well as president of the Newport Coast Republican Women's Federated; she said she has political aspirations.

Wow. Just wow.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey jackass,
The average lawyer graduating from law school makes a wopping $35,000 a year. However, many of those graduates owe a hundred thousand or even a couple hundred thousand dollars in debt. Believe me, I know. I went to a pretty good law school, did above average, and passed the bar exam, and I cannot find a job. All those years working shit jobs and studying means also that I did not fuck, even though I wanted to all the time. Even though I look good and am physically fit and have a nine incher, I actually never had sex until I was in my late twenties. I worked so hard for nothing. I should have just skipped law school and been a porn star from the age of 18. I'd be a freaking millionaire by now. Oh, and by the way, fuck everyone who says that you should stay a virgin until you are married. What ends up happening is in your pursuit of idealistic morality you eventually just can't take it anymore and want to fuck everyone. I have a girlfriend, and I am good and loyal to her, but I want to fuck damn near everybody. I don't do it, but I think that I would have sown these wild oats earlier if I had never listened to the most idiotic ass advice that I ever heard in my life which was to not have sex until you are married. Now I don't want to get married because I fear my horniness will cause me to commit adultery one day and fuck up my life. And by the way, who gives a fuck who you fuck as long as you are not hurting anyone. Christianity so focuses on the evils of the "flesh." However, we are all alive because of these "evils." We are constructed to have desires, desires which can change, but we are expected to remain loyal to the same person for an entire life in Christianity. This incongruity between this ideal and the reality of sexual desire is why 60% of the couples in the country end in divorce. I say, shake what your mama ga' ya and make as much money as you can if fucking tons of people makes you happy. I think it is actually a MORAL thing to do. If you fuck people for money and enjoy it you become happier and wealthier and of course you satisfy your customers and let them live out fantasies they may have pent up for years. God bless all prostitutes, escorts, porn stars, etc for their great service to mankind in making us happier by fulfilling our desires and allowing some poor people to get some money to pay their bills.

7/09/2006 9:12 PM  

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