Oregon State Bar Bulletin — DECEMBER 2011
Letters

Enough of the Cotton-Candy Spin
My thanks to author Janine Robben for investing her considerable time and energy in researching the law school employment statistics — and reporting as to same (“Cream and Sugar with That Law Degree? Parsing the Post-Law School Employment Numbers,” November 2011).Thanks, also, to the Oregon State Bar for its courage in actually printing the article, one which will help to spread the word as to the ways in which our state bar associations and law schools have long distorted the truth as to the availability of legal work. The large majority of the associations and schools will attempt to continue to sugarcoat the truth, if not disguise it entirely, but with major contributions such as “Cream and Sugar,” those who are contemplating applying to law school will at least have some sort of reasonable idea as to what work opportunities they could expect upon graduating.

Earlier this year I participated in a survey conducted by the Washington State Bar Association as to the current legal employment environment for Washington practitioners. The WSBA assigned each participant a pen name to provide anonymity. Participants were asked to comment a few times a day, over the course of a week, as to questions posed by the survey moderator. The remarks were refreshingly candid, similar to what two longtime friends could exchange between themselves without fear of condemnation by some overreaching authority, whether employer or otherwise.

The survey participants expressed the common concern that the law schools and bar associations help no one in camouflaging the actual employment picture, whether the focus be the availability of legal work, the pay the graduates could expect or otherwise (such as job satisfaction, which satisfaction appears well short of healthful). I was pleased that the WSBA would solicit comments. Just what the WSBA will do with those comments remains to be seen.

Thanks again to Ms. Robben and the OSB Bulletin. Major articles such as Ms. Robben’s will go a long way in helping to dissolve the typical cotton-candy-like fluff that the various state-sponsored legal institutions spin. Perhaps the OSB is willing to be among those few institutions that are now taking a lead role in reducing that fluff.

Brian Ragen, Kennewick, Wash.


We Love Letters

The Bulletin welcomes letters. In general, letters should pertain to recent articles, columns or other letters and should be limited to 250 words. Other things to keep in mind:

Letters must be original and addressed to the Bulletin editor. We do not reprint letters addressed to other publications, to other individuals, to whom it may concern, etc. Preference is given to letters responding to letters to the editor, articles or columns recently published in the Bulletin.

Letters must be signed. Unsigned or anonymous letters will not be published. (There are exceptions. Inquire with the editor.) Letters may not promote individual products, services or political candidates. All letters must comply with the guidelines of Keller v. State Bar of California in that they must be germane to the purpose of regulating the legal profession or improving the quality of the legal services available to the people of Oregon.

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Send letters to: Editor, OSB Bulletin, P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281.


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