Last week I had the pleasure of participating in a panel, at a recently organized Stuyvesant High School legal alumni networking event, which was kindly hosted by the Law Firm of Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP.
The panel consisted of two private sector and two government attorneys, who shared their thoughts on the changing nature of the legal profession. Perhaps key among those new developments was the role of technology and the manner in which it has altered the profession beyond recognition, not only creating and destroying entire areas of practice, but also forcing attorneys to be available nearly 24 hours a day, increasing workloads and pressure to produce.
Additionally, we spoke about the difficulty graduating students have locating gainful employment; a task (IMHO) made more difficult by a needless new Office of Courtroom Administration requirement, that students - already in hock for $200-300k for university and law school tuition - complete 50 hours of pro-bono before being licensed.
But not all was glum or dramatic. Many of us also mused on our humble beginnings, and where we would like to see the profession evolve. There were even some funny and heartwarming stories. Further, all gathered networked over pizza and other refreshments, and I think it was safe to say, had a very fun time. Some of us even reconnected with old classmates, long and previously separated by distance and time, and perhaps formed new friendships and professional relationships.
Special thanks to Igor Kirman (of Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz M&A power-house fame) and of my class of Stuyvesant (!) for moderating, Hal Diamond (CEO of Diamond Stone Capital Management, and a non-lawyer, but zealous Stuy alum, who - ironically - was the inspiration for this event), and the other panelists: Stephanie Bazell, Assistant Counsel Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Office, and Eli J. Mark, Assistant U.S. Atty Southern District. And, special thanks, of course to all those in attendance and the Stuy alumni staff for the preparations.