Sunday, March 18, 2007

What We Need Is More Lawyers

[Posted by reader_iam]

No, I'm not setting up a joke.
What's fueling demand? The explosion of new corporate compliance regulations, spawned in large part by the Sarbanes-Oxley reform law, means businesses have a lot more legal paperwork. Merger mania is also keeping lawyers busy as companies buy and sell one another at a fast clip. Every corporate deal generates a raft of necessary legal documents. Finally, plain old economic growth is underpinning a natural expansion in the market for legal services. As a result, law firms are averaging a comfortable 10% rate of profit growth per partner per year.

The legal supply side -- that is, the number of newly minted lawyers -- isn't keeping pace with demand. Law schools have been churning out about 40,000 graduates annually for over a decade, and the number isn’t likely to increase much anytime soon.
Maybe all those people who want but can't find permanent jobs in academia should consider getting just one more degree and joining the corporate rat race... .