entitled - the feeling that something is owed to you when you did not necessarily earn it
(Dictionary of Antiro, 2013 edition)
Two years ago at a commencement speech, a law professor from Emory by the name of Sara Stadler, who was voted "Most Outstanding Professor by the Class of 2011"told the same class that while many of them wouldn't land the big-paying jobs they wanted, they should "get over it. The one thing standing in the way of happiness for many people is a sense of entitlement." She went on to tell them that "they might have to move to Nebraska," and that they should "learn to be a giver, not a taker." (All quotes are from the ABA Journal article, though the video does include some gems they did not note).
As you can see by Professor Stadler's biography, she has taken her advice and moved to Nebraska. Between then and now, her tenured Associate Professor position at Emory has been replaced with an adjunct position at Creighton University School of Law. She has an elite background: she went to University of Virginia law school and was on the law review (as well as being a Cross Dillard scholar), clerked for a federal judge, and worked for several large firms before stopping by at Emory on her way to Creighton.
This isn't meant to be a personal attack on Professor Stadler by any means, but I think it illustrates just how frighteningly out of touch the people in charge are of the profession are. In this case, it is someone who went to an elite law school for a small amount of money, when the legal market was a lot less glutted, who clerked for a federal judge, then made the big bucks for a few years at big law firms, then became a tenured law professor, making over six figures to teach a couple of classes a semester and to produce legal "scholarship," has the gall to tell us to "get over it" and to "learn to be a giver."
But worst, she tells us that we are "entitled." I don't even know the words I could use to begin how that makes me feel, especially being told by someone with Professor Stadler's background. However, I don't need to respond. A response in the article from the ABAJournal inspired me to write this, and I reprint the beautiful comment here in full (Comment #86):
2010 law school grad and admitted in IN Oct 2010.
What this professor and a lot of older attorneys don’t realize is that young lawyers don’t have a sense of entitlement….we just want to be able to survive. Go to any law school website. They each have the same claims that “95% of our grads are employed within 9 months” and “the median salary for our grads is $80K”. Before law school, I looked at the “stats”, the amount of student loans I would need and what payments would be like afterwards. I knew it would be tough, but with the numbers the law school gave me, it seemed like a worthwhile investment. Had I known the reality of what I would be facing upon graduation, I probably would not have gone to law school.
The frustration and anger students have is not because we aren’t getting what we think we are entitled to…we feel deceived by what the law school are promoting This is especially true when tuition means most students are looking at $100k plus in student loans when graduating. I seriously doubt this professor would be teaching law school if it meant she’d be making $35k a year and trying to pay back $125,000 (plus interest). The reality is the high paying jobs aren’t out there anymore and the salaries for jobs that are available make just trying to live (and pay loans) almost impossible.
I don’t want a Ferrari and I don’t think I deserve one because I went to law school. I don’t feel entitled to a mansion or a private plane because I have a JD after my name. But I do feel like I was entitled honesty about an investment of $40k a year for 3 years. For this professor to stand up there and tell students to get over the fact they are going to struggle to make ends meet, shows how completely out of touch she is with what students are facing. Maybe she should lead by example of being a “giver” and give part of her six figure salary back to the school so tuition would decrease.