Drunken young lawyer burns 9/11 shrine

Nothing like a nice image boost for my profession.

So this new law school grad, who was scheduled to start a $150,000/year job at mega-firm Sidley & Austin in NYC in January, goes out in Manhattan and gets drunk on the night before Halloween. According to police, on a dare he decides to burn something. And not just anything: he decides to burn a chapel. And not just any chapel: he sets fire to the chapel containing the unidentifiable remains of the 9/11 victims. The remains were unharmed, but all of the flowers, letters and photos left inside the chapel are gone. Just to top things off, Sidley & Austin had been located in the WTC on 9/11 and had lost someone in the tragedy.

Story here.

The Above the Law blog caught up with Schroeder’s Facebook page and friends. No one seems to think this was political in any way.

I have to give the guy credit; he turned himself in right away, when he could have tried to hide. He’s facing arson charges, Sidley has rescinded his offer, and he may not get admitted to the bar at all if he winds up with a felony conviction on his record.

What a stupid waste. More misery for the 9/11 families, and a the ruin of a career, all over a drunken prank.

He should have just chosen “truth” instead.

I’m having a hard time not feeling sorry for the guy. Yeah he made an increadibly stupid move, but he’s apparently a decent enough guy (when sober) to turn himself in for it.
Hmmm. I’m really not sure what to think.

But on the plus side, nobody at the AA meetings will ever be able to top his “hitting rock bottom” story.

I suppose that’s one way to look at it, but he must have known that if he attempted to hide from his actions, that when he eventually got caught (and he HAD to know he would get found out sooner or later, between security cameras everywhere and the loose lips of his drunken friends) it would be much worse than if he is thought to have some level of remorse, evidenced by turning himself in…

True, but people with no chance of actually excaping have run from the police before. He wouldn’t have been the first and definitely wouldn’t have been the last.

Well, I am not really looking to argue, as it is clear that this young man has obviously royally fucked up a very promising future, which IS sad and a huge, senseless waste—That said, I suppose that the $150,000 per year job will eventually go to some other hard working young law school graduate, who DID NOT attempt to burn down a church in order to “celebrate” their completed education and new job or to answer a dare …

Hmmm, according to people in this thread, alcohol doesn’t make you do anything that you wouldn’t have done sober…

Someone really should look into the rates of alcohol abuse at law schools. I’ve got an abnormally high ratio of attorneys as personal friends(many of which I knew before they were attorneys, so don’t look at me like that), and they all tell CRAZY alcohol-related stories. I’m not sure if there’s something about the profession, the pressures of being a young attorney, or the fact that many of them have to deal with the ugliness of being hired guns for every nasty thing we want to do to each other in a civil society, but the typical attorney seems to be way out on the end of the bell curve in regards to alcohol consumption. If there is a broad trend, that’s something to worry about.


Fuck this little punk. I’ve been practicing for over 14 years and I don’t make anywhere close to 6 figures. Likely never will. Hope he took out tons of student loans and has to pay them back by washing dishes. If I was on the admissions committee, there’s no way I’d vote for him to be admitted.

The 9/11 memorial part doesn’t really ping my outrage meter–the fact that it’s arson does. A drunken guy starting a fire isn’t in any position to try to keep it contained even if he doesn’t intend to hurt anyone.

I’d disagree with that – though when drunk I’ve never come close to doing anything as idiotic as burning down a shrine. My stupid things (back a long time ago) were limited to things like falling fully clothed into the sea, and then not trying to dry the clothes, so I came down with flu a few days later. Yes, stupid, but not career-destroying.

So clearly we learned valuable insight about how good of a person he truly was.

Ever known any attorneys that went to law school in New Orleans (Tulane)?

The few I have hung with (I have spent a “bit” of time in New Orleans, and have made a lot of friends there over the years) were capable of consuming staggering amounts of liquor nightly, and still being highly successful, hard driven achievers…

This one time…after law school…

Hello? Lawyer! Try to keep up.


Wow, I don’t know what outrages me more, that the guy committed arson on a sacred site, or that he was going to make $150,000 right out of school. Well, looks like one of those things has been taken care of!

He would made it.

He would have had “drunken lawyer running from the cops speed”.

Now THATS fast.

Indeed. I completely agree.

Maybe he didn’t really want to be a lawyer. Maybe he was pushed into by his family. Or maybe he’s one of those people who’re afraid of success.

It really seems like he chose the most sure fire way to screw himself over. I’d say short of rape or murder, but there are people who have succeeded despite those.