Friday, April 15, 2005

Why is the "Old Guard" always so Pretentious?

I was just reading the linked post over on Instapundit. It struck me, though this is not directly related to the post, that I'm starting to really hate hearing a bunch of know-it-all "professionals" whine about how much better their profession and the people in it were back in the day. They then move on to blame all the new employees coming out of graduate schools and colleges for not being as prepared as these old people were.

Why is it that old professionals (lawyers in this case) always always always bemoan the next up and coming generation of professionals. Somehow they inevitably come to the conclusion that the next generation is not as educated or qualified or ethical or whatever ad nauseum.

First of all it is not a very original thought. Secondly, it's a pretty subjective type of thing. Here's how the researchers always come up with their statistics - they interview the group of professionals who are about to retire. These "heads of major corporations or law firms" unalteringly determine that the new generation is less qualified than that person was.

However, I'm here to tell you that I'm not especially impressed with older lawyers. For one, I know that they did not work as many hours or as hard as young attorneys do now. Moreover, today's techonolgy, while offering a tremendous amount of speed and convenience, also has broadened the amount of information available to each person to such a point that it is almost overwhelming the amount of research that is required to support most legal conclusions. We also write our own briefs and memoranda - we don't dictate it and let someone else type it.

Mostly, my problem with these old professionals is that we see them make tons of "first-year" mistakes. I see that it is them who are guilty of the most ethical violations. They just always seem to justify it by saying that their associate screwed up. Hey old guard, we see everything you do at work - you know why? Because we get there before you arrive and don't leave until long after you are gone.

Kid Handsome


Anonymous Badger said...

It's a defense mechanism. Back in the day of the Old Guard they were on top of their game. With advances in the field they become obsolete and are frightened that the next generation may easily replace them. Happens all the time in court. Some older attorney does the bull in the china shop routine and ends up going to trial because they haven't figured out that this is just a job, not some personal crusade.

12:47 PM  

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