Law schools only teach students the "establishment" route. I knew when I decided to be a lawyer (when I was 19, after reading With Justice for None) that I did not want to take the establishment route.
Unfortunately, NONE of my professors could give advice outside the usual get in the top 10%, do law review, summer at BigLaw, then clerk, then go back to BigLaw. Excepting that they would (sometimes) know about DOJ or a prosecutor's office.
I think that most students probably have to make a very tough choice: Devote your time to taking the establishment route, or learn how to be a lawyer. For example, I did not do law review, moot court, trial team or any other extracurricular activity because I was too busy representing real clients and solving legal problems.
When I took the establishment route, I did it largely because that's what the big firms expected. I don't regret it, though, because I was lucky enough to work after law school for a large defense firm that provided good training for young lawyers. But Mike's anti-establishment route, which involved attending CLEs as a law student and offering to work for lawyers for free, certainly has its merits, especially for one who plans to start out as a solo.
I wonder if anyone besides Mike has tried anti-establishment approach?