A guy who washed out as an eight-year associate talks about relocating from Pennsylvania to New York to get a better shot at assignments in the legal market. He's been out of the loop for 14 months. A former partner at a law/lobbying hybrid discusses building a mass-tort practice. Right now that's bringing in about $20,000. Our eyes glaze over. One woman actually steps back from the conversation. The new meme is pragmatism. Dreamin' scares us.
Two recessions in the first decade of the 21st century changed most of us. Our capacity for tolerating dream talk is at an all-time low. We have witnessed what happens to professionals who are knocked out of the box who don't have a solid grasp of economic realities. Where they wind up is broken. One former practicing lawyer joked, "I could wind up in a room in a boarding house." No one chuckled. It cut too close to the bone.