Drugs that may enhance the cognitive abilities of lawyers

The Economist’s The World in 2007 at 126 jarred me. Ponder modafinil, a drug for narcolepsy and sleep disorders that is also “a hit with healthy people who want to improve their concentration.” Or think about ampakine, a drug that improves the memory of rats by stimulating brain growth. Cogitate on a smart new world where today “More than 40 other cognitive enhancement drugs are under study.”

A rough beast slouches toward Bethlehem. Resumes will list the cocktail of brain enhancers that a lawyer has taken. Law departments will circulate statements of ethics regarding law firms whose lawyers drug start their brains, despite medical and ethical concerns. Firms will promote themselves as “brain-propellant free” but offshore firms with fewer scruples will think rings around them. In-house counsel will decide whether they themselves will seek legal genius through juice. Drug tests will be mandatory before Supreme Court arguments. The mind reels higher and higher in the widening gyre.

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