In doing so, Tamanaha recognizes himself and his colleagues on the side of the ruling class who have little to no concern about the masses that struggle to survive in order to make sure that they remain well fed. These accommodationists know they are part of an unjust system and, to his credit, Tamanaha is the first to acknowledge his role in it. The condescension dripping from his admission came at no surprise. This feeling is common for the elites when they are forced to admit that their riches come at the expense of destroying (or being part of a system that destroys) thousands of lives, both literally and figuratively.
Like the BP executives and their chairman who "wants his life back", they care enough about the "small people" to acknowledge that we exist, that they make lots and lots of money off of our existence, but that our lives aren't important enough for them to make any significant changes that could jeopardize putting even a dent into their wealth and fine living. Do I expect much to come from Tamanaha's admission? Not really. But it's a step in the right direction if we get more of the "serious people" talking about the problem, if only to give our blogs more traffic and make more people aware that we exist as a source of support and awareness for prospective law school students as well as unemployed graduates and attorneys.
This is why Angel and I continue BIDER. We aren't "vulgar" and we aren't "angry, unemployed graduates and bloggers trying to write their way out of debtor’s prison". Elie Mystal of all people should know this. He wrote a post in January admitting that he graduated from Harvard Law School with $150k in student debt:
I graduated law school in 2003, owing Harvard University just under $150,000. At the time, I had no idea what starting my professional career $150K in the hole would do to my life. I figured I’d work hard, make money, and pay my loans out of my general non-disposable income funds — kind of like my cable bill.
Seven years, two careers, numerous deferments and defaults, and one global economic meltdown later, I still owe a ton of money. Now, however, I pay it to various debt collection agencies and lawyers. When prospective landlords run a pro forma credit check on my application, they come back looking at me like I’ve been convicted of multiple war crimes. Every raise I’ll ever get will be eaten up by the collection agencies until sweet death allows me one everlasting and satisfying default. And, oh yeah, I don’t even want to practice law anymore — I quit my Biglaw job because, despite the debt, I really wanted to have a job that I enjoyed. So I essentially purchased a $150,000 disposable good. My time working in Biglaw was kind of like a very expensive vacation that I debt financed.
I mention all this because I am the cautionary tale prospective law students never want to think about. I mention all this because it is noble to crush false hope. I mention all this because there are way too many people poised to follow in my financially ruinous steps.
And isn't that what the scam bloggers have been doing all along for little or no compensation? Warning people each and everyday that law school and taking out $100K+ in student loans is a really bad idea, especially in a jobless era? So, it's only cool to leave the law profession entirely with $150k in debt if you attended a top law school. But if a similar fate befalls others, either willingly or unwillingly, we are angry bloggers trying to write our way out of debtor's prison? Sure, whatever.
Here is a little recap. Our regular readers know that I attended a T14 law school and Angel attended a top 30 law school. We have both interned or worked at NYC law firms. Angel was laid off from Biglaw. Maybe I wasn't smart enough to decide against law school, but I was smart enough to have most of my college education paid for with scholarships and financial aid. I owe less than $50k in private loans with low interest rates. I have been underemployed for most of 2009 and 2010 and have a non-law related, full-time job offer that starts in several months. Plenty of my friends and classmates from law school who graduated from both the bottom and top of their class are unemployed. In the end, it didn't matter that they went to Harvard undergrad or graduated magna cum laude from a prestigious T14, because they are still in the same horrible position as the rest of us. Go figure.
So sorry to disappoint the law school cartel and ATL who like to generalize all of the scam bloggers as bitter TTT losers, but a lot of us are quite accomplished, at least on paper. Which goes to show our readers that unemployment, underemployment, and life destroying debt can happen to anyone regardless of law school rank. Debt is debt regardless of who you are or where you went to school. It doesn't matter if you go to Harvard Law or Cooley Law, $150k in student debt will destroy your life unless you are one of the few graduates today who will go on to make Biglaw partner or become part of the law school scam. Don't want to hate your life at the expense of making a Biglaw salary? Then don't go to law school, even if it's a T14. You will never be able to pay off your debt otherwise.
This is why Angel and I continue to blog and maintain a place for the unemployed to vent their frustrations. Get used to us because we are making a positive difference and we expect to blog for a very long time considering that the economy is not expected to get back on track until at least 2015. There will be thousands more joining us in the coming years. At least we know we're on the right side of the fight.