Sunday, February 12, 2006


Well I have more news about more lawyers in exile who are now in TV news.

Read on one of these CNN fan websites that Alex Wellen became an Internet Producer for CNN. Anyway I read the blurb and got interested that he was the author of a book about becoming a lawyer and passing the bar, entitled Barman: Ping-pong, Pathos and Passing the Bar. It was about his life as a Tier 2-Temple Law grad struggling to pass the bar exam of the state of New York and survive at his intellectual property law firm. Here's his blog about his book. Anyway I went out and bought the book and have been reading it this weekend.

I got the impression the big selling point of this book was the fact that this was the story of some guy who didn't go to some big law school like Harvard, or Yale, Columbia, Virginia, Michigan etc. etc. This isn't One-L, Scott Turow's famous account of life as a first-year law student at Harvard Law, the most famous law school in the country. It's not The Paper Chase either. No, this was the account of a guy stuck at second-rate Temple Law trying to make his way in the legal profession. This was a guy who had to send out hundreds of letters just to get interviews. A lot of people can relate to that; most law students don't go to Harvard, after all. About time they had a book written by someone from that perspective. Temple Law is considered Tier 2 because of the US News and World Report rankings of law schools that put Temple into that second-tier category.

It's also interesting to read the perspective of someone who fought to make it through the bar exams. One-L basically ended after the first year of law school. You'd think passing the bar would be considered more dramatic since the failure rate is so high. The other interesting thing about this account in Barman is that he actually quit practising law. Nine months after passing the bar Wellen quit and pursued television producing, pitching a show about cyber crime to TechTV, and he moved to San Francisco. He felt the need to do something more creative. ( I must know at least a couple of people who live in the Bay Area now.)

Anyway, the good news is it sounds as if there's jobs in TV news for lawyers who graduate from second-rate, uh, I mean second-tier, law schools. I read Megyn Kendall at Fox News went to Albany Law School, another one of these law schools no one has heard of. And there she is on the air.

I know, I know. I keep on saying guys hate TV news, I keep harping about it being a lousy business and how these reporters get maimed or taken hostage, or even killed. So many of the stories are dreck, but there are SOME good jobs in that business, surely. I think it says a lot more about the sorry state of the legal profession, quite frankly, when people leave law to go into the cut-rate, cut-throat career path that is television news.

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