For what it’s worth, I have a hard time placing myself in any of the three categories set out in the above essay. I’m certainly not "the sucker" (the lawyer working long hours in a small firm for little pay), nor "the underpaid do-gooder" (the underpaid public interest lawyer). I’m probably closest to the "corporate serf", although I don’t quite earn buttloads of money (say, as much as a partner). On the other hand, I’m certainly doing far better than the average worker, and better than many two-income familes. And the hours, for the most part, are fairly nine-to-five, so I can have a bit of a life outside of work.
I think the essay also plays into the negative sterotype of lawyers. To be sure, the profession does have its fair share of asshole know-it-alls, as well as lawyers who fight about every detail just for the sake of fighting. But my experience is that this tends to be the exception, rather than the rule. One commenter agrees:
My experience of law, both in school and with those in practice, is that there is not really a higher percentage of arrogant, picky, petty jerks in the law than in other professions with highly educated individuals.
It is probably a bit different in big-city practice (i.e., New York), but so much depends on your locale that it is hard to generalize like the article does.
Anyway, for anyone thinking about law school, the article is well worth reading. The comments are even more informing.