Ethics Dunce: An Angry Young Man at Yale Law School

flame faceA third year law student decided it was appropriate to send an obscene, ranting letter to the entire student body of Yale Law School announcing that he hated “like 90%” of them, and also, in his words (after announcing that he is going to be a writer):

“…fuck you guys, you judgmental, uninformed pricks, patting yourselves on the back on top of your goddamn moral high horses. I realize I am killing my future political career. GOOD. If you’ve read The Republic, you know exactly what my opinion of politicians are. I realize I am burning bridges. EXCELLENT. If I succeed in my passions, I want to make damn sure it is without the help of any of you phony-ass shitdicks. I’ve ALREADY gotten compliments about how inspirational I am, and I haven’t even fucking started yet. That’s the biggest compliment I’ve ever received in my life. It’ll probably take you guys 10-20 years to get that even once, so good luck and keep up the good work!”

His name was included on his post, just to make certain that it keeps him from finding gainful employment with any potential supervisor who doesn’t have a death wish.

A few observations:

  • He’s a bigot. Law students and lawyers are no worse than any other kinds of people, in other occupations. He hasn’t met all of them, and I’d be shocked if his prejudice was triggered by the conduct of more than a handful.
  • Apparently, based on the scamblogger posts I’ve been reading and this tantrum, some young people are under the mistaken impression indiscriminate vulgarity and incivility is inherently funny, persuasive, and entertaining. Wrong. It is the mark of an undisciplined mind and toxic disrespect for readers.
  • He’s unfair. He calls every reader names, knowing that even by his calculations, only 10% deserve them.
  • A lot of people desperately wanted that spot at Yale Law School that he has chosen to waste with this self-immolation.
  • This is hubris, the dangerous state of mind that fertilizes the ground for all manner of ethical misconduct. A person who writes a letter like this, intentionally voiding norms of decorum and civility for no other reason than to vent his spleen, is by definition untrustworthy. Such a letter has signature significance—no trustworthy individual authors such a word-bomb even once.
  • For someone who advises everyone “to  just relax a little bit, learn to laugh, stop getting so offended over everything, and stop being so judgmental and hypocritical and hurting other people’s feelings in the process,” the author is shows remarkably little evidence of being capable of doing these things himself.
  • He’s not as good a writer as he thinks he is.
  • I think there is a good possibility that the letter was s symptom of an impending breakdown, or one in progress. Or that he will conclude it is convenient to claim that was the case at some point in the future, when he finds himself living in a cardboard box or working as a side-show geek.
  • At least he didn’t shoot anyone.
  • In his defense, it is Yale.

You can read the whole diatribe here.


Pointer and Source: Above the Law

37 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: An Angry Young Man at Yale Law School

  1. I cant believe I’m saying this but:

    Typical Yalie. Destroys their career before it even begins.

    While a Harvard.. , what the hell is the nick name for someone who goes to Harvard? is there even one? , What ever lets call them…. Damnyankess. So a Damnyankee instead would find a way to make it a very profitable career. See National Lampoon.

        • Cute. Except 1) “legacies” refers to admittees, not graduates; 2) the term applies to Yale as well as Harvard, and dozens of other schools, and 3) there are no true legacies. Even back when I was admitted, it was not uncommon for a kid whose brothers, uncles, father and great grandfather were all alums to get rejected. Less common if the family gave millions to Old Ivy, of course.

          • I think “legacies” can apply to graduates as well, and I’ve seen “Yalies” and “Elis” applied to current students.

            The other part of it? Well, that was half the joke (the other half was that it wasn’t a negative). I’d say that legacy status floats someone’s name to the top of a pile. Harvard gets many more applicants that meet it’s entry criteria that it has open spots. If we’re two students with identical grades and activities in identical classes at the same school, but you’re a legacy and I’m not, you’re in… and I’m not.

  2. To be fair to the guy, he is in the second half of 3L. It’s not like he can just give up his spot to someone else who desperately wanted it.

  3. I had to laugh at your next-to-last point, Jack. Kinda like “It’s not the worst thing,” no? (I get the irony, and know that you are not being hypocritical, but it’s still funny.)

    • I think that was the point. It’s a damning with faint praise, like “at least he doesn’t post as much as TGT” or “at least he has some hair”

  4. That cursing-happy Yale dropout guy needs to be identified on the do-not-allow list (and that list updated worldwide, TODAY) for purchasing any gun. If only that would solve the problem of keeping any and all guns out of his hands, unless/until enough character witnesses came forward to herald his healing. It would be ironic, if a Yale grad lawyer were to be the guy’s life-long personal life-coach/mentor/bailer-outer. The guy is too much like I was when I was his age. I pity him. Oh well, he’d probably pity me, if he knew me now…all I could say is, “Do as I say, not as I did.” (He’d blow me off.)

  5. I did something like this once when I was in high school, though maybe not with the same strength of emotion.

    From the fallout I’d learned to be a much, much better person. Might we hope for the same for him?

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