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« Leaving Portland for Chicago because of . . . air travel? | Main | Hey, didn't I see something like this on "24"? »

January 26, 2011



Number of law schools isn't the only consideration - the US had 43,000 new lawyers enter the market in 2009 (almost 14 per 100,000.) That number has been rising for many years. In the meantime, Canada has had 2,000 graduates (almost 6 per 100,000). There are also 245 lawyers per 100,000 people in the US and only 218 per 100,000 in Canada. The US legal market is simply saturated and getting worse.

Moreover, a point made in Mystal's article is that the limited number of law schools in Canada not only prevents oversaturation, but also ensures that all of the law schools are the best. There is no Third Tier Turd status in Canada. In the US, basically anyone with a BA can go to law school if they're willing to go low enough, take on a huge debt load, and have no reasonable prospect of getting a job with a salary that could pay that debt off. The ABA seems to be actively encouraging this ridiculous way of doing things.


Elie and I thought about this point. The relevant comparison is lawyers per capita:

"[In Canada,] there’s about one lawyer or notary for every 421 people. In the U.S., it’s one lawyer for every 265 people."


Tung Yin

Those are indeed more relevant numbers, and make a better case for the assertion of Canada vs. U.S., although one wonders whether the U.S. is (a) more litigious; and/or (b) more regulated, either of which might lead to some disparity in lawyers per capita.

But those statistics are a far cry from the 200 to 20 comparison.

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