Too many lawyers?

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 5, 2009 in Randomness | Subscribe

I know it’s old news by new, but last Thursday I jumped in on this discussion over at Fight The Hypo and wanted to pass the referenced article along to my readers here.

Essentially, Justice Antonin Scalia — and I preface this comment by noting I have an immense amount of respect for the man and his work on the Supreme Court — is complaining for the sake of complaining, and using totally fallacious economic assumptions to bolster his argument.

The relevant passage from the WSJ story:

Well, you know, two chiefs ago, Chief Justice Burger, used to complain about the low quality of counsel. I used to have just the opposite reaction. I used to be disappointed that so many of the best minds in the country were being devoted to this enterprise.

I mean there’d be a, you know, a defense or public defender from Podunk, you know, and this woman is really brilliant, you know. Why isn’t she out inventing the automobile or, you know, doing something productive for this society?

I mean lawyers, after all, don’t produce anything. They enable other people to produce and to go on with their lives efficiently and in an atmosphere of freedom. That’s important, but it doesn’t put food on the table and there have to be other people who are doing that. And I worry that we are devoting too many of our very best minds to this enterprise.

And they appear here in the Court, I mean, even the ones who will only argue here once and will never come again. I’m usually impressed with how good they are. Sometimes you get one who’s not so good. But, no, by and large I don’t have any complaint about the quality of counsel, except maybe we’re wasting some of our best minds.

The argument the Justice presents bothers me on multiple levels — as someone who (i) minored in Economics, (ii) graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science, and (iii) is currently attending law school — but I’ll refer you to the ensuing discussion at Fight The Hypo for my reasons why :)

Have a great night everybody :D

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