Lion of the Blogosphere

What ever happened to Heather Eisenlord?

In April 2009, the New York Times reported:

Although [36-year-old Heather Eisenlord is] not yet sure exactly what she’ll be doing on her trip, she has some ideas. She would like to teach English to monks in Sri Lanka and possibly help bring solar power to remote parts of the Himalayas. She’ll probably hit 10 to 15 destinations around the world, most likely practicing not-for-profit law wherever she can be helpful.

The best part of all: Skadden is paying her about $80,000 to do it.

I have no idea if any monks learned English, or if any gasoline generators in the Himalayas were replaced with solar cells, but I do know that Ms. Eisenlord is now a “Human Rights Program Director” at the International Senior Lawyers Project:

Heather joined ISLP in May 2011 to lead ISLP’s human rights program unit. Her background includes seven years of practice at leading U.S. law firms as well as providing legal support onsite to both an anti-human trafficking NGO in Cambodia and a community-based organization in Uganda that provides quality schooling and other support to children and young people in the Kabale District. Heather received her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School and earned a B.A. in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy from Michigan State University. She also participated in a program on post-Soviet legal transition at Moscow State University.

Ms. Eisenlord perfectly captures the sort of person David Brooks was writing about in his book Bobos in Paradise. What could be more bourgeois than working at Skadden Arps, one of the world’s most prestigious law firms? Yet she is also a bohemian free spirit who jets around the world (using up a lot of jet fuel) teaching English to impoverished monks and spreading the virtues of green energy.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 31, 2012 at EDT am

Posted in Bobos

25 Responses

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  1. 1. The scheme that enabled her round-the-world trip (Skadden paying its associates not to come to work) is something that people should pay attention to. This is the only planto reduce the size of government that has a chance of succeeding: to pay government employees not to show up for work. Much of the bad things government does is the result of insecure bureaucrats trying to justify their own existence.

    2. ” a bohemian free spirit who jets around the world (using up a lot of jet fuel)”

    This snarky parenthetical comment is also something that people should pay attention to. A great way to attack today’s faux-left “left” is to position yourself to the left of them.

    anonymous

    December 31, 2012 at EDT am

    • The Elite place their Skadden Arps Cubs in safe teething cribs – academies instructing how to placate the masses.

      “Take their rights away, but give them greenbelts.”
      “Take their guns, but give them soy fields to dig!”

      It is easy to spot: The Agenda always has the implicit message to undermine the west, i.e. Ugandan children are worth SO much more than Americans, richkidz have to jet-off to help.

      I once thought “redistribution of wealth” was a fictitious charge made from Bohemian Grove types but, no longer. The Re-distributors always seem to take the same path as Bill & Hill – then wind up in government wielding real power to officially redistribute even more by fiat.

      The pen, is mightier than the Peace Corp shovel.

      Firepower

      December 31, 2012 at EDT pm

  2. OT, to help the flow of conversation could you put up a recent comments section? Maybe you could put it on the right side where it the comments will stand out more prominently?

    The Undiscovered Jew

    December 31, 2012 at EDT am

  3. I remember this 2009 article. The first question I had when I read the above was: is this a full-time, fully paid position and, if so, what is the salary?

    Looking at the ISLP website and the financial statements in the Annual Report, it is not possible to answer this question as the expenses for staff salaries are not broken out.

    Then I found what appeared to be the job posting for the position from April 2011. The salary listed in the job posting is $65,000.

    http://www.pilnet.org/public-interest-law-news/pilnet-listings/archive/view/listid-1/mailid-29.html

    That does not seem like very much for NYC and a big drop off from Skadden Arps. But I guess now she is living the dream of bringing the “Rule of Law” to Krygyzstan or wherever else it is needed.

    gaiaguy

    December 31, 2012 at EDT am

    • Thanks to her time at Skadden her loans are surely paid off and she probably has something of a nest egg, and now she has a relaxed and self-actualizing job. 65k is plenty for a single person. She probably has a rent controlled apartment, even.

      anonymous

      December 31, 2012 at EDT pm

  4. The West has currently the worst elite of its entire history.

    There were bad ruling elites in the past, but they were openly evil and ruthless, or openly decadent. Anyone, even the dumbest of the dumb, could see there was a problem.

    The “bourgeois bohemian” elite has managed to dissimulate its incompetence behind diplomas, (conformist) knowledge, and pseudo-humanitarianism.

    It makes it de facto impossible to budge, as most people are incapable of seeing the scam. When proles hear about “Her background includes seven years of practice at leading U.S. law firms as well as providing legal support onsite to both an anti-human trafficking NGO in Cambodia and a community-based organization in Uganda that provides quality schooling and other support to children and young people in the Kabale District. Heather received her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School and earned a B.A. in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy from Michigan State University. She also participated in a program on post-Soviet legal transition at Moscow State University.”, they think “wow, she must be really smart and knowledgeable”.

    Proles are incapable of making the difference between actual intelligence/useful knowledge and credentials. They will always be fooled.

    If I could go back in time, I would certainly try to obtain an elite diploma. But now it is too late, so I’m stuck with being an entrepreneur.

    Alex

    December 31, 2012 at EDT am

  5. MSU and GWUL? Sounds like she knows someone.

    Nicolai Yezhov

    December 31, 2012 at EDT am

  6. Why the hell would Sri Lankan monks want to learn English?

    aisaac

    December 31, 2012 at EDT am

    • Dude, no one’s asking them

      PA

      December 31, 2012 at EDT am

    • Everybody wants to learn English, just in case they have to protest. The international media only covers protests if the signs are in English.

      Blog Raju

      December 31, 2012 at EDT am

  7. I didn’t know you could major in “Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy”, much less major in it at Michigan State. That sounds like a very high class major for a very mediocre school full of people with average IQs.

    @Nicolai Yezhov
    GWU is just outside the top 14 for law school. My guess is that it wasn’t too uncommon for to get big law job out of GWU if you were a good student.

    James

    December 31, 2012 at EDT am

  8. OT, have you heard about the well-educated white couple (the woman is preggo) who had a cache of explosives in their upscale Greenwich Village apartment?

    ironrailsironweights

    December 31, 2012 at EDT am

    • more info and details needed, please

      anonymous

      December 31, 2012 at EDT pm

  9. I’m impressed that her undergraduate degree is from a Big Ten school, and her law degree is non-Ivy, and she still gets to be a bobo. Makes me think that there is hope after all!

    Gilbert

    December 31, 2012 at EDT am

  10. Regarding Gilbert’s comment, it is similar to a process called “Sanskritization” seen in India. Members of a lower caste emulate the practices and behaviors of the uppermost castes, and over time their caste rises in the hierarchy. This is how vegetarianism spread in India – now 40% of the country is vegetarian.

    Similarly, in the US, Harvard and Yale graduates set the example, and they are emulated by, say, the Big Ten graduates. Pathological altruism and do-gooding is taken as the signifier of the elite class, and a chain of imitation ensures an extraordinary penetration of progressive liberalism into the general populace.

    In the past the elites merely spoke better English and wore expensive jewelry, and that was what people tried to imitate. I long for that time, it seems much better than a society of wannabe elites trying to out-BoBo one another.

    Thinkingaboutit

    December 31, 2012 at EDT pm

  11. I really think you’re wrong that she’s what Brooks had in mind, on two counts. First, his description was generational, i.e. “bohemian” referred to the earlier Boomers, i.e. the type of people who in the early ’70’s were telling everyone how they weren’t going to “sell out.” Second, if she’s agreeing to live on 60-80/yr., then she’s actually not selling out. The distinctive problem of her generation is that her “work” is actually phony, do-nothing, stuff, like Sandra Fluke. Older lawyers at Skadden at least were involved with real commercial disputes, requiring real thinking on tough problems of, e.g., contract interpretation. Incidentally, a minor writer named Joe Queenan had the best line on the people Brooks was writing about. In “Balsamic Dreams,” he said he hated his generation because, “they said they wouldn’t sell out – then they sold out.”

    sid storch

    December 31, 2012 at EDT pm

  12. She went to a ttt law school, and skadden is a high prole firm.

    dexelpred

    December 31, 2012 at EDT pm

  13. Fucken leeches. Remember, folks: one way or another, it’s you, the value-creating members of the society, pay for this SWPL abomination.

    norman

    December 31, 2012 at EDT pm

  14. Sri Lanka was a British colony. Assuming Sri Lankan monks can’t speak English there should be enough Tamils or Sinhalese to teach them.

    Boxthorn

    December 31, 2012 at EDT pm

  15. So let me get this straight, the criticism is that this 30something female lawyer is typical of what david brooks described in his novel “Bobos in Paradise” correct? She’s a “bohemian” because she has humanitarian interests and curiosity about the multi-national world but this is just her “faux-liberalism” (the assumption being these qualities mark her as a liberal democrat) and it is a elaborate ruse or tool towards upwards mobility, emulating the altruistic philanthropy of the upper class to thereby integrate herself with them, At the same time she’s “outed” as bourgeois phony by working at a prestigious law firm?

    that’s pretty conspiratorial, not saying it’s not true but it just seems to me nobody here has ever considered the possibility that maybe this “bohemian bobo” or
    “new meritocratic elite” or whatever, who is ironically for an “elite” is making 65k a year, works with NGO’s and anti-human trafficking laws just because she wants to? maybe she like’s the work, maybe she wants to make a difference in some way, maybe that work is providing fulfillment in her job that other, higher wages generating work does not? maybe there is no conspiracy or agenda.

    Lenny

    January 1, 2013 at EDT am

  16. The above comments come to this, though the commenters may bot see it. This stage in the “human project” enjoys enormous real productivity but is still governed by an ideology invented by nontechnical people who don’t understand how the world really works or even what work is.

    If only economists and politicians were required by law to hold engineering or other technical qualifications and such were required for admission to law school. That would be Utopia.

    Nicolai Yezhov

    January 1, 2013 at EDT pm

  17. […] make plus how much self-actualizing they’ve accomplished. Some of the blog commenters think that Heather Eisenlord dropped in status when she left her job as an associate at Skadden Arps (which probably paid in the […]

  18. […] is a heartwarming story: a woman traveled to the other side of the world in order to teach English to Sri Lankan monks and to lecture them about the benefits of solar energy. It is not clear if they had asked for any […]

    Human Rights as a Hobby «

    January 12, 2013 at EDT pm


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