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The U.S. legal industry does a lot of things well. At its best, it allows people access to justice through a fair and open process. It also allows individuals to take on the largest corporations, uncover and correct injustices, and challenge those in positions of power in ways that would be unthinkable in many countries.

The legal industry, however, has baked-in disadvantages. Lawyers have been trained to think backwards in solving new problems. What is the law governing a new IoT device? Let’s see how courts looked at somewhat analogous situations 20 years ago. Though this way of thinking creates a type of grounding that is important to make the law stable, it comes with blinders. This is the problem facing legal recruitment. Thirty years ago, law students at top schools were ceremoniously ushered into the world of Big Law. On-campus interviewing was the norm for “top” firms. If you wanted another job—which meant government work, public interest or academia—you had to hustle.

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