Nobody expects the head of the American Bar Association to be ambivalent about the joys of the law. But Karen Mathis is a true believer.

As she sees things, it’s not just a waste of law firm training when young attorneys quickly leave the profession. It’s not just a waste of lawyers’ time and money when the pressures of big-firm life drive them to abandon the law. It’s a waste of their chance to do fruitful work in the service of great goals.