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The Boston Globe

Opinion

JEFF JACOBY

US legal bubble can’t pop soon enough

Is America’s lawyer bubble getting ready to pop?

Critics have long bewailed our national glut of lawyers, to little effect. Chief Justice Warren Burger predicted 35 years ago that America was turning into “a society overrun by hordes of lawyers, hungry as locusts.” At the time, the population of attorneys in the United States had surpassed 450,000, and law schools were graduating 34,000 new ones each year. By 2011, the annual production of law degrees was up to 44,000, and at 1.22 million, the number of lawyers in the country — which included me — had nearly tripled. Over the same period, the population of the United States had risen just 40 percent.

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