By Samantha Plesser • December 10, 2007•Choosing a Career and Landing a Job
The student who has offers of clerkships from trial court judges whose chambers are not as prestigious as the appellate division may, however, live a better lifestyle and have more interesting and substantive work. Yet, the "prestige factor" of what court is perceived as being a better resume builder overshadows these qualitative determinations. This mode of thinking is comparative to the one that students use when choosing law firm jobs. Smaller firms might offer more substantive work or more face time with partners, but most often, where a student chooses to work centers on how high the firm ranks in various charts.
In academia, one would hope that the quality of work one receives would be of utmost importance in choosing one's future employment. Yet because of the pressures of today's modern society, this notion is turned on its head by the need to be at "the best" law firm or to clerk for the highest court judge. We use this decision-making when choosing colleges, law schools, and even friends. When receiving our letters of admission for law school, most of us choose to go to the highest ranked law school, instead of, perhaps, where we feel we would fit in the best or learn the most. Even when choosing friends, many people, often termed "social climbers," seek out the richest, prettiest, most intelligent, and most connected in choosing with whom to associate.
Although this is a sad fact, I am clueless as to how to change this view of the world in which "the best" has become the same "the most prestigious." With modern society stuck in this state of mind, one wonders if this is why more people find themselves unhappy in their lives.