Ultra Vires


Class of 2012… Selling Out Since ’09

I love 1Ls, man, cause I get older and they stay the saaaaaame age, alright alright alright. (For those of you who don’t know what movie that’s from, you’ve missed out on one of the greatest coming-of-age stories of all time – ask around till someone with some pop culture intelligence tells you the name of that incredible film, and go and watch it TONIGHT.)

The other reason I love 1Ls is because of their sheer naïvete as to what their career is going to look like. Now, I’ve already written about selling out and how much of a good idea it is, and I’m sure some of you 1Ls scoffed at the idea. “Not I,” say you, “I’m going to save the world! All of those who came before me were never that serious about public interest!” In response, I give you the second annual “Oh My God Look How Much They Sold Out” quiz.

Every statement on the left is an exact quote from somebody’s personal statement that got them into this hallowed institution. On the right, the description of what they’re doing now. Look on these words, and despair!


1)    “I would like to learn more about international law, especially future evolution of the international legal system, and the means by which human rights can be enforced more effectively. Courses such as “Globalization, Law, and Social Justice”…would enable me to vastly expand my knowledge and allow me to contribute to the scholarship in the field.”

2)    “I want to act as a champion for disenfranchised people and to act as a protector and advocate for the disadvantaged. “[My desire to go to law school] also stems from my practical desire to be a lawyer so that I can most productively apply myself in public service.”

3)    “I believe the interests of…corporations never align perfectly with those of ordinary people…I believe the great conflicts of the future will be fought over diminishing resources. Whether our societies can survive…depends to a great extent on the ability of the institutions that underpin them to develop effective regulatory and legal frameworks capable of reconciling divergent interests…I wish to play a part in this vital process.”

4)    “I want to work for a large agribusiness, such as Monsanto, because I believe the future of sustainable living is the increased production of animal products and factory farming.”


a)     This person hopes to make an everyday difference in peoples’ lives by working at a large American law firm in NYC. His litigation practice will probably focus on defending large multinationals from mass tort and insurance claims made by injured individuals.

b)    This person will be working at a law firm that has been described as one of the most conservative and competitive on the street. Their litigation practice will no doubt focus on defending the Firm’s numerous energy clients from environmental claims.

c)     This person will be articling at a seven sister law firm. They have expressed a desire to work in the corporate/securities world, doing M&A work for the largest multinational clients a Canadian firm might have.

d)     This person is Camille Labchuk.


Answers: 1: b), 2: c), 3: a), 4: d)

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