I have a Friday admission, I’m going to cheat on my Slaw post. This has been the first week of the new school year at the law school, and yes I have been busy. But I want to cheat because I found this post from Simon C. to be especially informative last year and I think it bears repeating. This is Simon’s post from last September on First Year law students from the Millennial generation. Up until that point last year I had sensed something different about the first year law students but couldn’t quite put my finger on it, this post brought it into focus for me.

I would be interested to hear from the others out there to see if any of this rings true with them and to hear if anybody at the firms noticed any of these characteristics from their students recently.

Just so that I don’t completely cheat on this post here are some other generational and millennial links:

I guess we can save a discussion of the Boomers for another day.


  1. If you’re interested in this topic there’s a comprehensive book on the “millennials” that has been extremely useful as a PD material for high school teachers dealing with this very unique generation —

    Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation
    by Neil Howe, William Strauss and R.J. Matson (Illustrator)

    Personally, they drive me up the wall (…says the Gen-Xer…).

    Maggie McFarlane, MA, MLIS
    The Bruce Hunter Memorial Library
    Nova Scotia Teachers Union
    Halifax, Nova Scotia

  2. As a boomer who is now a part-time LLM student at the U of T, my first impression was that they all seem a lot younger than when I was there the first time around (1972-75 in the last millennium). Simon F will remember. He was there, then, too.

    I’ll watch. As it happens, I told Simon that some of my Monday posts would deal with my impressions. There’s a 32 year gap – 32 years and a few months, to be accurate – between leaving with an LLB and returning for an LLM. That’s a Rip Van Winkle and a half. Does anybody know of a longer period for somebody outside of the academic milieu? I’m excluding those who were professors of something and decided to add another degree.

  3. Here’s me being picky: how do they figure out when there’s a generation? I mean, only families have generations, really: you know when the next member is born, and that’s a generation. But as far as the mass goes there’s someone born every tenth of a second: no breaks, no seams, just continuous creation. So how do the folks who title books know?

    The “boom” is something else, of course, because it’s a statistical event based on a whole lot of, ahem, real world events that clustered. After that, though, we seem to have tossed out any connection to reality and to have gone with Douglas Copeland.

  4. Cohorts are arbitrary yes, but still valuable, right? Perhaps it’s best to think of it in ‘astrology’ terms…. on the cusp anyone?

  5. Re: definition of millennials as a generation.

    Neil Howe and William Strauss provide the following definition:

    “Meet the Millennials, born in or after 1982 — the ‘Babies on Board’ of the early Reagan years, the ‘Have You Hugged Your Child Today?’ sixth graders of the early Clinton years, the teens of Columbine, and…the much-touted high school Class of 2000….” (4)

    Howe and Strauss argue that this generation was born right around the time that the message of “the worthy child” permeated government and the media — wanted, protected children who needed to be shielded from the violent crime and substance abuse that reached a peak in the 1980s. (32) The major change in the perception of children, they argue, is what created the generation’s characteristics: “Not since the Progressive era, near the dawn of the twentieth century, has America gretted the arrival of a new generation with such a dramatic rise in adult attention to the needs of children.” (32)

    Anyway, I’m not sure if there is an objective way to determine generations (outside something like the boomers), but it’s impossible to ignore that these mid-twenty-somethings are somehow “different.”