February 13, 2014

Too many lawyers

The co-CEO of leading international law firm DLA Piper Nigel Knowles wrote in The News Statesman here:
"The [legal] sector is still remarkably fragmented: there are simply too many firms (and too many lawyers) offering the same services without any clear differentiation. Consolidation is an imminent certainty and, furthermore, I expect to see consolidation on an unprecedented scale." 
In an article here, I wrote that The Sunday Times reported that1000s of law students will never practice law. The is the same paper that is now offering scholarships to the University of Law. I cover than scandal here. Incidentally, Nigel Savage, head of the college of law, is to retire (see here). Moving on.

In an article here in the Huffington post I noted that the law school bubble is deflating in the US but continuing to inflate in the UK. In an article in Forbes Magazine, Paul B Brown said in an article 'A simple solution to the lawyer glut':
"The reason we have too many lawyers is too many people are going to law school. Let me go back up 30 years. I went to Rutgers Law School at night and it was ridiculously hard to get into back then. Even though I graduated a good state college with honors and did well on the LSATs, I was wait listed….getting the word I was in just before classes started. 
There were 60 of us who started. Some 40 graduated and 30 of us passed the bar on the first try. Of those 30 kids, only three of us should have been lawyers. So, why then did they (and I) go to law school? Well, then—like now I believe—the majority of students went because they didn’t know what else to do. They were smart, but unfocused when it came to understanding what they wanted to do for a living, once they were about to graduate college.  
Law school seemed like a good option for kids with good grades who weren’t sure what to do next... A lot of people who became lawyers chose the profession more or less at random. And since they did, it’s no wonder a significant percentage of them are unhappy."
He gives his solution:
"What should they be doing instead? I would argue that thinking about starting a company of their own, or at the very least gathering the entrepreneurial skills they will need to thrive in the world of work in the years ahead."
In 2010 Jack Straw said:
"We are in grave danger of becoming over-lawyered and under-represented."
He added that there is one lawyer for every 400 people in the UK. Ben Richmond said on Vice Magazine:
"There’s just too many lawyers on Earth and especially in America. I’ve got nothing against lawyers, but that’s just the truth—there are more than two law grads for every estimated job opening, according to Matt Leichter, author of the law blog Law School Tuition Bubble. 
But law schools gotta feed the monkey, as they say, and keep that sweet, $40,000-per-year tuition money flowing."
Bloomberg Business Week article on how lawyers are destroying America by their overproduction here. CNBC News said:
"Becoming a lawyer seemed to be one of those career moves that could stand up to any type of economic setback." 
But continued:
"Besides not having enough positions for current lawyers, there are too many upcoming law school graduates and too few jobs to employ them."
Ganesh Natarajan said:

"A friend's daughter called me the other day about whether she should go to law school. If you have a passion for the law, then go, but don't do it because your family wants you to go or you can't think of anything else to do."
Classic Slate article here, 'The Real Problem With Law Schools - They train too many lawyers'. Stephen J. Harper, author of The Belly of the Best wrote a piece, 'America Has Way Too Many Lawyers, And The Bubble Is Growing.'

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