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Archive for June, 2012

I participated recently in a panel discussion at a conference, speaking with other lawyer/blogger types in front of an audience consisting largely of people from law firms and law schools.

After we finished, I did the decent thing and sat and listened to the panel that followed mine. I happened to choose an empty seat next to a woman who introduced herself to me later as a Dean at a law school, in charge of career placement, or whatever the euphemism is for trying to find students non-existent jobs. The law school was obscure – one of those dreaded “third tier” places.

She confronted me afterwards. “I guess I’m the bad guy, huh?”

I was startled by her candor, but knew what she meant. This was one of those people from a third tier law school – the greedy cynical fraudsters signing kids up for worthless degrees, then leaving them high and dry – unemployed and deeply in debt.

Despite her participation in crimes against humanity, I had to admit she didn’t seem so bad, in person.

Then I snapped back to my senses – and went on the attack, assuming my sacred role as The People’s burning spear of vengeance.

“At very least, you have to admit the tuition is too high,” I vituperated.

“Don’t talk to me about tuition,” she rejoined. “It’s the tenured faculty – that’s where that money’s going.”

She took a step closer and lowered her voice, taking me into her evil confidence.

“I’ll tell you what I’m looking at. I’ve got to find kids jobs – that’s it, my assignment. Here’s how bad it’s gotten. Someone called the other day and said ‘I’m getting evicted – you have to find me something, anything.’”

Her face looked dead serious. She wanted The People’s burning spear of vengeance to hear this.

“I called in every favor – I called everyone I knew. What more can I do?”

I acknowledged her point, grudgingly. Maybe this was a lesser villain. Perhaps some vestige of good remained in her corrupted, blackened soul.

“The best thing,” she continued, “and it’s going to happen – will be a bunch of schools shrink their class sizes or close down completely.”

She paused while we mutually processed the implications – namely, that she’d lose her job.

“That would be the best thing,” she repeated for emphasis, as though daring me to believe her. I did.

I left the conference chewing over the big question: If that lady I’d just met, and chatted with, was Lucifer herself – then she failed to convince. In which case, who’s left? Who is the Great Satan?

(more…)

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