Lawyers in America

Archive Report

The Lawer Boom

Opportunities, Problems Created by Expansion

Many sectors of the economy have stagnated over the past decade or so, but the practice of law has been a growth industry. Spurred by a number of factors—increased governmental regulation, expansion of civil rights protections, consumer and “public interest” activism, and rising crime rates among them—the demand for lawyers has shot up dramatically. And, lured by the prestige and high salaries that are trademarks of the legal profession, thousands of Americans have sought to fill that demand.

The American Bar Association (ABA) estimates that there are about 650,000 lawyers in the United States today, nearly double the number in 1970. On a per capita basis, the United States has 2 1/2 times as many lawyers as Britain, 5 ...

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