"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 29 May 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.





A career in law: Just the thing to satisfy your every avaricious, egomaniacal desire. A quick LSAT here, a few admission forms there, a couple of years in school, a passed Bar, and then BAM! Dollars, dates, earth-shattering debates, and an occasional guest-spot on CNN's Burden of Proof. After sweating and struggling, however, you're disappointed to discover that your grand prize - the nexus of your Lexis lifestyle - is not a starring role on LA Law but rather a position as one in a vast sea of para-legals at Jacoby and Myers.

Why would anyone think otherwise? We blame the tragic glamorization of the legal profession on the E!ntertainment industry. Not only can Hollywood make even high school detention look fun, it gives the law a wiggle in its wallet and a dance in its pants. Ashley Judd at home, Sandra Bullock in the office, and Matthew McConaughey in the mirror? Face it, counselor: You want at least one of the above. (That, or you want to either be or do Calista Flockhart.) Forget the fact that American law much more aptly resembles the cloying mug of Alan Dershowitz atop the haughty, vaguely roosterish swagger of Johnny Cochran, you want to chew on baby cigars and sweat seductively in the name of all that is good and right with God's green earth. Sadly, what you get is a carton of Merits and irritable bowel syndrome.

But why should you be the only one forced to suffer the ice-cold drench of reality? As you sit smouldering in the theater, dripping tepid popcorn butter on your only decent pair of workpants, or alone on your couch with a bucket of KFC and a bong, it might strike you as entirely fair to ask: How might Tinseltown's lawyers fare if they ever had real cases, real clients, and real judges to work with?

Next ... Habeas Poutis

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