Robert Crandall on We Need More Lawyers!

Several years ago, when Cliff Winston and I began looking at the incomes earned by lawyers, we were struck by several facts. First, after accounting for age, years of education, experience and various other demographic influences, we found that the income premium earned by lawyers had increased by about 50 percent between 1975 and 2004, with a large share of the increase coming near the end of the period. Second, the rate of increase in the number of lawyers in the United States had been declining for some time. Why, we asked, would the rising earnings premiums for lawyers have not attracted a sharp increase in the number of persons applying for entry to and graduating from U.S. law schools?

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