Last year, Amir Efrati of the Wall Street Journal authored a widely read story on the stark and rapidly shifting economics of the legal profession. See "Hard Case: Job Market Wanes for U.S. Lawyers" (Sept 27, 2007). In a story that ran this Sunday, Greg Burns, Senior Correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, may have turned this journalistic theme into a full fledged genre. See "Two Lawyers Walk into a Bar ..." (Apr. 6,2008).
Burns consulted with the best empirical literature on the legal profession, including the Chicago Lawyers I and II studies, and in turn brings the underlying realities to life by weaving interesting personal stories with remarkably clear explanations on why the market is changing. I would bet that, in hindsight, these two stories will be viewed as pivotal journalism that changed public opinion about the career benefits of law school. Those of us who work in this sector need to take notice.