#8 Helping Others

Interviewed by Katharine Mieszkowski in Salon.com, Stuff White People Like creator Christian Lander answered a few questions about the breed of white people who become lawyers:

But obviously, there are a lot of white lawyers.

Oh, yeah. Some of the white people, who are not quite advanced enough white people, have sold out.

What does going to law school represent?

It’s what you do when you finish with your liberal arts degree, and you start to panic about realizing that the careers available for someone who knows a lot about Proust are very limited, and you realize that you still want money. So you end up going to law school. There are people who enjoy law school, because then you can work for a nonprofit organization, and you can be very helpful.

Why is working for a nonprofit important?

White people have the constant and unabiding need to feel as though they’re helping, and because this gives them the ability to hold it over other people.

Hang around lawyers long enough, and their urge to help is overwhelming. While nurses may rank high on codependency scales, they can’t hold a candle to lawyers, particularly in the organized bar. Even if lawyers are barely scraping by, they’ll delude themselves with a need to perform pro bono. A generation ago, young lawyers interviewing at law firms would inquire about the opportunities for pro bono, not having the first clue that the entire point of hiring them was to make money for the law firm. Bar association no longer view themselves as trade associations, wrapping the organization up in God, the flag and apple pie, stressing the availability of public service opportunities for lawyers who’ll even travel great distances at their own expense to set up playground equipment just for the photo opportunity. Forget what you hear about “thirst for justice” the next time you talk to a lawyer. It’s all about being helpful.

If you’re a lawyer, here’s your opportunity to be helpful, without even lifting yourself up from your chair and leaving your computer. Buy Christian Lander’s book Stuff White People Like. Now. (We blatantly ripped off the concept from him, so this plug is the least we can do.)




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