Reading A Scholar's Book Adds Layers of Complexity to the Schindler Legend together with Superman is bad role model reinforces something I have long believed about law graduates, and indeed suggests it is a more general human tendency.
Law students typically graduate with substantial debt. The path of least resistance is work in firms, which pays well, or work in large firms, which pays very well. It is very hard to land any sort of public interest work without experience, and the pay is relatively low, especially for those with debt and especially for those with debt and families. (A compromise is government work, which pays ok, and is in theory work for the commonweal.)
So I think a significant number of people [no, not everyone!] just surrender when they work for the firm. They figure they can't be a saint (or Mother Theresa, or Superman, or Ralph Nader before he went nuts), either because the sacrifices are too great — and anyway no opportunity seems available. So they give up and go corporate, and in time stop looking for even the chances to do good in small ways or part time. (It doesn't help that junior lawyers in firms are encouraged to compete for promotion to partner, and some firms do not smile on non revenue enhancing activities, although the enlightened ones do.)
The truth, though, is that Superman is a myth (and so, to some extent, is Mother Theresa, but that's another story). There was a real Schindler. It seems that he wasn't such a great guy in many ways: a drinker, an adulterer, maybe a thief. But he rose to an occasion.
There is hope for us all.