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Where Have All the Lawyers Gone?

Applications are way down. Do you care?


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Published: February 24, 2013


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Visitor Comments: 21

(20) Rachel, March 10, 2013 2:28 AM

some other perspectives

See this article in NYT about law schools assisting grad
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/08/education/law-schools-look-to-medical-education-model.html?src=recguates.
There is also an article in this month's ABA JOURNAL about lack of access to lawyers for the poor.

(19) Anonymous, March 4, 2013 10:22 PM

Right back at ya

There are too many psychotherapists out there and people should be able to deal with their problems themselves.

(18) Amhoretz, March 2, 2013 7:56 PM

Socioeconomic background is a huge factor in a lawyer's success.

As far back as the 1960s, i knew some people who became lawyers &--rather than striking it rich--got stuck in low-paying dead-end jobs. But I also knew rookie lawyers who did get very, very rich. Was it variations in competence that accounted for such discrepancies in their success? Surely this had something to do with it but, from my observations, the main factor was their parents' socioeconomic level. The lawyers fom poorer families got the hack jobs, mainly because they didn't have the social connections to bring new wealthy clients into the law firms that employed them. In some cases it was so bad that the financially disadvantaged new lawyer--after just a few years of poorly-paid ambulance chasing--quit the law profession, to go into teaching (hardly a well-paying profession), or selling. None of these ex-lawyers ever told me that their expensive law degree was, in any way, worth the cost & effort.

(17) Anonymous, March 2, 2013 5:45 PM

Spot-on, Rabbi!

I totally agree with you! There are far too many lawyers; they don't serve society well; and, they have helped put society into a declining spiral. The writings of attorney Philip K. Howard supports your proposition and conclusion.

(16) Rachel, February 28, 2013 10:06 PM

There are many places with too few lawyers

I'm a retired attorney. I went to law school because I wanted an interesting career at which I could make a difference -- and I found it, working in government. I didn't get rich, but that wasn't my goal, and we certainly didn't starve. I don't have a lot of respect for students who go to law school expecting to get a big firm job and get rich. It's not so different from kids who spend most of their time practicing their sport on the off chance they will be the one in a thousand to play professionally. And believe me -- in rural areas, inner city neighborhoods, Indian reservations -- there aren't nearly enough lawyers. And I don't mean just criminal defense attorneys. It's very difficult to start a business without some legal assistance to make sure one is in compliance with all laws and regulations. Unfortunately, working poor couple sometimes need to divorce, just like those in the middle class. Maybe the housing crisis wouldn't have hit so hard if all buyers had attorneys advising them about the potential pitfalls of variable-rate mortgages. If you have a product that you are selling overseas, you need to be kept abreast of international trade developments. And yes, prosecutors tend to be very good, but public defenders are overworked, and if one doesn't qualify for a public defender, one may have a very difficult time getting good representation for a reasonable fee. What we really need is either better availability of decent paying jobs in underserved areas, or loan forgiveness for law graduates making a low salary. And then perhaps some of these good lawyers can afford to work where they are needed.

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