Apparently the LSUC (Law Society of Upper Canada) supported a proposal in November 2012 to majorly overhaul the way that Ontario students are called to the bar.
If you know anything about articling you know that it has increasingly become a barrier to the practice of law. This wasn’t always the case. I had professors tell me that when they were young law students they used to draw names from a hat to see who would article where. They said that some companies weren’t even lucky enough to find articling students. After that there was apparently a time when everyone got articles, it was just a matter of “where”, not “if”. This was also, of course, during a time when Keynesian economic theory was popular so student loans were so small so as to be laughable to today’s student (even with inflation taken into account). I’ve heard stories of people graduating from law school with only two or three thousand in debt, and graduating without any debt wasn’t a preposterous notion. People were able to save enough money from their summer jobs to pay for their spending money – and sometimes books – for the entire year! Those lucky bastards had no idea how good they had it and sure as hell didn’t value that system enough to pay it forward.
Fast-forward a couple of decades to today’s scenario.
Prospective articling students now scrap amongst themselves to get a piece of a pie that is smaller year by year, meanwhile the number of law students goes up and up and up as universities scrounge for new sources of revenue. The pay for articling students goes down, and the demands increase. And it’s now a total capitalistic orgy fest betraying the new motto of our sick and twisted society, “all is fair in love, war, and most importantly business”. There are no summer jobs, only unpaid internships, and if there are summer jobs, they pay barely enough to get by during the summer. People graduate with student debt so high that their repayments are higher than their rent. They delay having families and are just generally f*cked for a majority of their mid life, unless they “luck out” and get a job at a firm, where they will work more hours than a soldier in the Iraq war, with probably less exposure to natural light.
Enter the LSUC, with it’s brilliant, business friendly “solution” to this problem. Instead of limiting the number of law students to what the market can bear, which is the ethical and right thing to do, the LSUC has instead decided to enable the flooding of the market by removing the only real barrier that remains – articling. Now, students will be able to further buy their way into the possibility of a legal career if they can come up with more money (debt).
It’s so sick and disgusting just thinking about it makes me want to puke. I mean, you know what happens in the US, right? If you’re rich, you get into a good school. Period. If you’re poor, unless you’re a super genius (you’re not) you get into a shitty school. If you’re rich, you don’t pay tuition, some magical wizard does that for you. If you’re poor, you take out a crap load of student loans to fund everything. If you’re rich, you graduate, and daddy or mommy gets you a job at their (friend’s) firm. If you’re poor, you get a job at radio shack, and start paying back your $1000 per month and stay living in your parent’s basement until you’re 40. Is this really what we want here in Canada? These measures, particularly in the professional fields, eliminate the possibility of upward mobility. This is class war!
This new program by the LSUC is such utter bullshit I’m flabbergasted that someone had the balls to come up with it. The solution is itself transparently profit motivated. We’re not so naïve so as to believe that the LSUC is some benevolent organization with decision makers that don’t have their own interests at heart. We, the sons and daughters of capitalism, know that no one is out there looking out for us. The point I’m getting at is this: you can bet your bottom dollar that someone somewhere has already been lined up to make a six figure salary bleeding the hopes and dreams from the young who will fill the sad rooms of whatever educational institution peddles this new sordid product. And in the end, what will happen? More debt. Still no jobs.
You don’t need to read a Dickens book to know that where we’re headed is no good. Or, maybe you do. I don’t.