An army of commenters soon descended, and let her know -- for the most part politely but firmly -- why her career plan is at best unrealistic and indeed potentially quite disastrous. The commenters were not nearly so gentle with Pynchon, who proceeded to indulge in demographically symptomatic levels of narcissistic grandiosity that are impossible to parody. Sample:
I’ve been working to change unfairness in the political and justice systems since I was an 11th grade student protesting the war in Vietnam and writing letters to the editor of the local newspaper urging passage of an Act to permit 18 year olds to vote. I wasn’t alone of course. But how about that? The war didn’t end as soon as we wanted it to but there’s no draft anymore (you’re welcome) and the voting age is 18. [In a later comment Pynchon complains that her critics still refuse to thank her and others of her generation for "ending the draft." This is apparently not intended as a joke]Pynchon also advises aspiring lawyers to commit malpractice in order to learn their trade:
I know many young attorneys today who hung out shingles immediately after graduation. They found mentors (I’ve mentored young attorneys) and learned the way we all learn how to practice law – by failing. Sure, I had advice from my young attorney employers, but you go to court for the first time alone. The Judge asks you “can you give me an offer of proof?” and you flip the papers in your file thinking “what’s an offer of proof, what’s an offer of proof” until the Judge takes pity on you and asks your witness the necessary questions herself. You take deposition testimony for the first time alone. Opposing counsel roughs you up. Finally, they tell you what you’re doing wrong because they can’t waste their entire day while you re-formulate questions in response to their foundational objections that you don’t need to re-ask. You try your first case alone with butterflies in your stomach, your hands shaking and your armpits sweating. One old grizzled defense attorney told me that if you didn’t gag over your toothbrush the first day of trial, you shouldn’t be trying cases anymore; you’d lost your edge. You enroll at Solo Practice University. You join Bar associations. You stay up all night reading. You pick up the telephone and ask for help. You start with small cases. You’re not representing people in capital murder cases. There’s not that much you can screw up. Just don’t blow the statute of limitations.(No, I didn't make this up).
Anyway, Freud was given plenty of excellent reasons to reconsider her choices, to which I have nothing to add, other than to emphasize that the main reason going to law school to "help the little guy" is probably not a good plan at present is that the little guy doesn't have any money, and therefore he can't pay you, which you won't find out until you try to collect your bill (The two most critical professional skills for any non-government attorney -- getting clients and then getting them to pay -- are never touched on in law school, for the very good reason that no law professor in the recorded history of American legal education has ever acquired a client or collected a bill).
Again, all this represents progress. Victoria Pynchon is almost surely beyond hope, but at least she's no longer allowed to broadcast her pernicious nonsense without being called to account by a host of passionate and extremely well-informed voices, including those of unimpeachable authority figures such as Deborah Merritt, who makes an appearance in the comments.
I do have one practical suggestion for Jessi Freud, and others in her situation: Go to Florida's bar's web site, and do an attorney search for 2011 graduates of Nova Southeastern (Click on expanded search, and use the drop down tabs to search by year of graduation and law school). Spend a couple of hours looking up what these people are doing, and asking yourself how many of them appear to have jobs -- that is, among those who have jobs -- that bear any resemblance to the kind of job you envision yourself going to law school to get. Then call or email a random assortment of them, and talk to a dozen or so. The life you save may be your own.