Thursday, April 29, 2010


I come from the last of a generation: the generation young enough to have been on Facebook during college, but too old to have been under 21 when the photo function made its appearance. That's something reassuring for those my age and older - if a future employer finds a picture of us with a beer, and the photo is not identifiably from 1998, and the beer hasn't led us to do anything visibly ridiculous, we're in the clear.

The whole reputation-protection aspect to professional life is everywhere, but apparently it's especially everywhere in the world of law.* (See Amber and Isabel Archer's discussion.) This doesn't surprise me - I've met exactly two people ever who insisted upon not consuming alcohol as minors (as opposed to people who didn't drink for religious reasons), and guess which degree program both were headed off to? And my god, the clothes! Forget the law student who sent that quasi-racist email - what about the lawyer who that one time wore dark gray socks rather than navy! Some things just cannot be forgiven.

*Yes, fine, academia is sanitized and professionalized as versus the bad old days, a phenomenon I've both lamented and praised here before. But if any academic who'd ever said, done, or worn anything inappropriate were doomed... Or maybe it's just that we're doomed regardless, so we may as well dress colorfully.

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