Cast your mind for a moment back to The Big Chill in 1983, a film that aged badly while you were watching it. One scene supposedly laden with great Baby Boomer profundity was the idealistic lawyer reflecting on how she sold out to Big Law. It’s the first 50 seconds of this clip (then skip the rest):
Well, behold the Wall Street Journal this morning:
Benjamin Nitzani imagines a future doing legal work for clients and causes he’s passionate about. The new law-school grad is a member of Generation Z or, as he describes it, “a generation of social-justice warriors.” First, though, he wants to get paid. . .
They were raised in a time of questioning such widely accepted norms as pronouns, standing for the national anthem and the wholesomeness of Dr. Seuss.
They’ve told pollsters for years that all of this—maybe not Dr. Seuss specifically, but social and political issues generally—will be important when they enter the labor force, saying they want to work for companies that share their values.
In a recent poll of roughly 400 college seniors commissioned by ResumeBuilder.com, however, 54% said they’d be willing to work for a company they “morally disagree with” for a six-figure starting salary.
This is why we can have a sequel to Top Gun but thankfully won’t have to suffer through a sequel to The Big Chill: today’s zealots are skipping the “defenders of the Earth/public defender” stage and skipping straight to the sellout stage. Not so sure Big Law is going to be happy with this bunch, though.