You just made it through law school. The debt is considerable, but you have not lost that passion for helping others and pursuing a career giving you the most opportunity to do social good. Congrats. You are rare. But now, what do you do? Do you fundraise for a few years in corporate law? Or do you just go for and start to save the rain forests or low-income children?
The Harvard Law Record recently weighed in on the issue. The premise is the best way to fully “do good” with a law degree is to sell your soul as soon as possible to corporate law and then donate 25% of your salary to charities. That is better than making a measly $32,000 after taxes working as a public interest lawyer.
Above The Law provides a rebuttal that is really spot on. Their first dispute is valid. People going into Biglaw aren’t just going to give away that kind of dinaro. The money is earned with 80-hour weeks, and over-worked and stressed attorneys are going to want to enjoy the spoils of a sizable salary. And they should. Giving away 10% is a stretch, but 25%? Yeah, right. Nevertheless, the millennial generation is currently known for giving time and cash to charities. In 2013, 75% of millenials claimed to give money to a charity and 63% gave time.
ATL goes on to argue against the idea that money can actually buy good deeds. Again, valid. There is little proof to money consistently buying good deeds. In fact, most people who want to do good don’t worry so much about giving monetarily as they do giving of themselves. See: the PeaceCorps and AmeriCorps.
Law school graduates will have decisions to make. For some, it is easy. Do good and screw the bank account. Or make the cash money and don’t worry as much about dedicating yourself to creating “social good” in the world. Both ways are fine. But getting caught in the middle trying to do both is unproductive at best.
Source: Above The Law
Source: The Harvard Law Record