It is only now that law professors are beginning to be made to suffer. As THE NEW YORK TIMES reports, with the job prospects so poor for law graduates and student loan debt at six figures, this year there are 38% fewer applications to law school than there had been in 2010. That isn't expected to bounce back since the whole structure of how legal tasks are performed (think outsourcing) and delivered (via technology B2C) has changed.
So, law professors are beginning to get the boot. The University of Vermont Law School, THE TIMES notes, is already busy with buyouts and possible layoffs. There are lots of empty seats in other law schools. There is a number floating around that in the next decade about 10 law schools will probably fold.
Those displaced law professors will have a difficult time retrofitting their persona to something the real world will put up with, never mind be eager to have part of the team in the workplace. Many of us in the time of affluence attended law school. Most of us were stunned that the law professors could comport themselves in the classroom as they did. We were not convinced that was necessary to shape our minds into the legal mode.
The only persona worse than that of a former lawyer, who had been rewarded for aggressively questioning, arguing, and never surrendering, might be that of a former law professor who has been even more well recognized for the height of seeming crass indifference to students.
My time at Harvard Law School as a 1L was the most unhappy in my life, which had not been one especially filled with sweetness and light.