Commentary: An Oversupply of Lawyers…?

Here’s a blog post from someone who’s rather blunt on the subject (courtesy “Above The Law”):

The Oversupply of Lawyers in America « Above the Law: A Legal Tabloid – News and Colorful Commentary on Law Firms and the Legal Profession:

Response from this attorney: I have no quarrel with the idea that prospective law students need to have realistic expectations about their career once they pass the bar. However, Elie Mystal’s piece appears to advocate an overcorrection, one that may ultimately be detrimental to the administration of justice. As it is, I question whether indigent defendants always have access to adequate representation, even now. I submit such needs will always exist, even if they are not glamorous or high-paying.

As with anything, there needs to be a balanced approach. The crucial questions to be asked of any prospective student are: 1) What are your talents, and 2) What are your motivations to practice law in the first place? At one extreme, if the sole motive is money and prestige and the person doesn’t have a natural talent or inclination for law, the person is a poor match, and such a person, if (s)he passes the bar, may become part of an unhappy and miserable lot. At the other extreme, if the person writes naturally like Scalia, thinks through complex fact patterns like a hot knife through butter, and has a passion for the law that is deeply ingrained…we should not deter that person. In fact, frankly, we need all of them we can get.

Finally, from a Mormon perspective, one additional dimension is needful, and it is prayer and personal revelation. Were it not for these things, I would not have taken the first step towards law school in the first place. –SJR

1 thought on “Commentary: An Oversupply of Lawyers…?”

  1. While it is true that many attorneys feel inspired to go to law school you can't argue with the statistics in Elie's article; there is an oversupply of attorneys in this country. The unbelievable cost of going to law school + forgoing three years of income + an over supply of attorneys + outsourcing + websites like "legalzoom.com" + our "Great Recession" = law school's a very risky bet.

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