I mean, come on, what in the world DO we need so many lawyers for? There must be a reason so many exist... What take so many lawyers? Tax season? The large number of car accidents and other injuries that people can milk beyond medical bill money?
I know that there are good ones and good uses for them, but the question is... why so many?
"There are between 760,000 (BLS) and 1,100,000 lawyers (ABA) in the US.
The precise number is uncertain.
The lower number comes from surveys by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and attempts to reflect lawyers currently earning income from legal practice.
The higher number comes from the ABA – a similar number has been reported by the ABF and reflects attempts to reflect all active lawyers based on Martindale-Hubbell listings.
That is roughly 1 lawyer for every 300 people in the US (US Census).
That is roughly 1 lawyer for every 140 people employed in the US (BLS).
The ratio of lawyers/jobs was flat for most of the 20th century and then rose dramatically after 1970, roughly doubling between 1970 and 2000. That increase (of 100% over 35 years) is similar to increases in the share of service and knowledge-based jobs in the US economy since 1970. (Wyatt and Hecker 2007)
The growth of lawyers is constrained by the output of US law schools.
The number of law schools has grown, but more slowly than the ratio of lawyers/jobs. In 2007, there were 196 ABA-accredited law schools, compared to 144 in 1970, an increase of 36% (ABA). "