State Legislatures: Where are all the lawyers??

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jun 25, 2011 in Randomness

I meant to post this for y’all when it came out a couple weeks ago, but the good folks over at the Chronicle of Higher Education put together a pretty awesome and thorough series of articles on the education level attained by state legislators in all 50 states.

Now I’m not one of those folks who thinks having a college degree should be a prerequisite for public service; although I’m a big supporter of higher education, I also know some of the wisest people I know (like my grandparents) never got one.

Besides, I’d hate to imagine the thought of being permanently precluded from public service if I had never made it back into N.C. State :beatup:

Lawyers are outnumbered 5:1 in statehouses

But, that point notwithstanding, it was intriguing to see this fancy interactive map with the end results graphed out — especially after clicking the “Law School” tab, where it turns out only ~17% of legislators nationwide went to law school. :surprised:

Maybe my perception had just been skewed by what I read in the press or learned in my social studies classes in K-12, but I was always under the impression lawyers were the dominant profession in politics.  It made intuitive sense considering how needlessly complicated some of the most basic statutes can be in a given state.

Yet according to the “real world” data, even in the most attorney-packed legislature in the country (Texas), there are still more than 2x as many non-lawyers as there are lawyers. :crack:

Not sure what the practical implications of this info are, but thought I’d pass it on for y’all to peruse. Enjoy, and have a great night! :)

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