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The Lawyer Glut: More Lawsuits for the Rest of Us

Written by Gary North on April 20, 2012

We all know this is true. The law profession is glutted. Meanwhile, most graduate school students in engineering are temporary residents from foreign countries.

A recent article in Business Week highlighted this.

At all levels, the industry suffers from excess labor. The number of people with law licenses grew from 212,600 in 1950 to 1,225,000 in 2011—a sharp change from a ratio of one attorney for every 709 Americans to one for every 257. Forty-five thousand newly minted attorneys become available every year in a field with only 25,000 job openings. Law firms of all sizes laid off attorneys during the lean years of 2008 and 2009, and hiring has not fully rebounded.

These people have to make a living. They make a living by getting money from the rest of us. Lawyers sue. Lawyers defend against lawyers who sue.

The old story from the 19th century was true. A lawyer in a small town has almost no business. Then another lawyer moves to town. Now they both have lots of business.

Before anyone goes t graduate school, he should find out what the job market is like. He should estimate what it will be like after graduation for newly-licensed lawyers. But young people are naive. They assume that a piece of paper will assure them of employment.

In engineering, it will. Not in law.

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10 thoughts on “The Lawyer Glut: More Lawsuits for the Rest of Us

  1. Be wary of the notion "engineering degree = slam dunk in the job market". Just like any other job market, it depends on the need for your services. I've been a "labor cutback".

    And I left the civil engineering industry five years ago, because I totally did not appreciate the work environment. Over and over I found a lack of good morals, to the point it was impossible to exist without lying. Yep, engineering has problems too.

  2. An engineering degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and $1.50 will get you a Coke. I've been working construction for 17 years because no one gives a rats ass about my piece of paper. Waste of time USNA was.

  3. sean murry says:

    There to many jack legged lawyers now.

  4. Jack Jones says:

    You have to take the time to identify the good lawyers. One way is to check the listing of the Christian Legal Society or the Federalist Society. Another way is to meet them at your church. I am an attorney and I would say at least 75% of them are dishonest. There are way too many lawyers and they think they have to be dishonest to make a buck. Another thing is, don't buy into an attorney's PR game–just because he acts like your buddy doesn't mean he's honest. A lot of people think (what are in reality) poor lawyers and unethical lawyers are great because they bought their line of b.s. Literally.

  5. Jack Jones says:

    A lot of judges are poor thinkers and dishonest and biased too. Don't buy into the idea that the judge is the smartest person in the room. Usually he's not.

  6. Too many, but there is a partial solution. Use lawyers in place of lab rats for research. There's more of them, they cost less, they're easier to train, the lab workers don't get attached to them, and no one cares if they die. I know that would be trading one rat for another, but some people eat rats, but not even another rat wants to eat a lawyer.

  7. One of the best quotes ever on lawyers:

    "Whenever lawyers dominate a society – usually during the society’s final years – they steadily substitute formal procedure for ethics…. They adopt a theology of salvation by law, or at least continued employment by law. The practice of law replaces the law itself; “law” becomes case laws, precedents, and procedures, but without any thought or hope concerning an integrated law-order that provides meaning to the law in general. Law becomes what men say it is, and men do not agree. Humanism’s implicit judicial polytheism then leads to the disintegration of civil law: jammed courts, endless litigation, plea bargaining, and all the other aspects of twentieth-century judicial tyranny that we have become numbed into accepting as normative.

    "The Bible is concerned with ethics, not formal courtroom procedure…. It is the mark of a culture in the process of disintegration that it substitutes procedure for ethics, the letter of its law for the spirit of its law. Even more important is the bureaucratic machinery that defines the letter of the law…. Techniques of judicial interpretation are considered more fundamental than the substance of the law. Such an attitude invariably transfers authority from the people to a self-certified elite, the interpreters. It creates a secular priesthood." Gary North, "Tools of Dominion: The Case Laws of Exodus" (Tyler, TX: The Institute for Christian Economics, 1990, 1997) p. 107.

  8. EHeassler, USN-Ret. says:

    Excellent post, sir. The evidence is in front of us on a daily basis.

  9. For more, see Chapter 5 "Article 2: Executive Usurpation" of "Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective" at http://www.missiontoisrael.org/biblelaw-constitut….

  10. Years ago I worked for an insurance company and it was well known that many of the lawsuits were by lawyers who knew that even if the case had no merit, the insurance company would pay off the attorney to settle the case and keep it from tieing up company lawyers and funds on more important cases. There is a whole industry based on this…file a case, settle for whatever you can squeeze out of the insurance company and look for another case to file. Easy money for little work…