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Way Worse Than Being A Dentist: The Lawyer's Quest for Meaning Kindle Edition
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1) A sense of perspective: Most of the book is about giving you, the young college graduate, a sense of perspective about starting out in the world and how your career can fit into the life you want to build for yourself. The author's human kindliness and wisdom shines throughout this book; it's like having a really smart and soulful career counselor. I think his main point is that it's OK not to know what you want to do right out of college, career wise. You don't know enough about yourself, or the world, to make a wise decision. The people who've known all their life s that they wanted to be firemen or archaologists or lawyers may have a sense of certainty and purpose that the rest of us aimless college grads may lack. But they may also have not a dang clue about what those types of careers actually entail! Moreover, they don't know what other career options are out that might suit them better. Land surveyor? Florist? Fisherman?
2) What lawyers do: The author spent one year is a very prestigious law firm. He quit since he hated the work and the lifestyle the work entails. He gives an informative account of what daily life as a corporate lawyer is like. It sounds miserable. The author gives a visceral retelling of his experience, but he makes no attempt at reconciling the fact that there are several thousands of lawyers who continue to practice corporate law and seem happy.His account is an honest counterbalance to the prevailing narrative of the high powered lawyer flying around in a jet making deals around the globe. But there are other perspectives out there about lawyering that you should be familiar with,
Bottom line: The book is for law school students/applicants that aren't sure they want to be lawyers. If you fall into this group, buy this now.
Will Meyerhofer's "Way Worse Than Being a Dentist" lyrically exposes these excesses while providing a bracing antidote to the magical thinking leading so many aimless college kids into the law school/law firm meat grinder. "Working for the Man" (pp. 149-152) is itself worth the price of admission. It concerns an especially odious client Will met at Sullivan & Cromwell. He was known simply as Mr. Rolex and "no doubt...left his mother's womb screaming abuse into a cell phone." This character sketch recalls the infamous "Master of Human [expletive deleted] speak" from Michael Lewis' wonderful book, Liar's Poker. It's a wonderful essay deserving widespread attention.
Those considering law school must read this book. Hopefully it will dissuade them from going. Those in law school must read this book. Hopefully it will persuade them to drop out. Lawyers should also read it. It affords a critical perspective upon legal practice and personalities that will help lawyers curb self-destructive habits and cope with the caustic monsters overrunning the industry. Will Meyerhofer has done more to restore health and sanity to law practice than perhaps anyone in the last 50 years. Ironically, he did so by quitting the law.