Conor Friedersdorf continues rounding up reactions to his anti-lawyer post. This one is just weird:
What you completely left out of your rant about “elites” is their grades and the difficulty of those programs. Firms that wine and dine summer associates don’t just hire any schmuck who gets into Harvard and skates by with Cs because his dad is a senator. They’re wining and dining the top tier of honor students in some of the most difficult and renowned programs in the world. People who can get a 4.0 at Ivy League grad schools are people who can work seven days a week, twelve hours a day, for months on end, and not complain about it. Doing what these people do is so brutal that movies have been made about it. If you resent those elites, if you really can’t grasp why people will spend so much to have them on board, it’s because you don’t know what it’s like to work that hard nor do you know what those people are really capable of.
There are a few large law firms that only hire people at the very top of the class from the very top schools. But there are many that are considerably less selective and willing to wine and dine people considerably lower down. Finally, I have quite a few friends and acquaintances who did quite well at Ivy League law schools. I'm sure there are some who worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week, for three years of law school. But most had much more moderate study schedules.
For more on why the "but they deserve it" line is not a good libertarian defense of businesses' lavish compensation of meritocrats, see various blog posts under the meritocracy tag.