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Opening Arguments

Too many lawyers?

Indiana State University is thinking about starting the state's fifth law school (we currently have two public ones, at Indiana University Bloomington and Indiana University Indianapolis, and two private ones -- Notre Dame and Valparaiso). This seems like a bad idea to some people, who argue that we already have more than enough lawers. Torpor Indiana, for example, thinks we should be worrying about real shortages, as of nurses and pharmacists. Indiana Barrister suspects the other law schools won't be thrilled.

But if you care about state comparisons, that would seem not to be the case. If these numbers are right, Indiana ranks 46th in lawyers per-capita, at 2.11 per every 10,000 people (Masschusetts is No. 1 at 7.76, and Arkansas is 50th at 1.92).

As a libertarian, I would say that the state needs as many lawyers as the traffic can bear, but I suspect the normal laws of supply and demand don't quite work in the legal profession (unless there are hordes of starving attorneys out there I'm not aware of). It has seemed to be that the amount of legal work available has expanded to fit the number of lawyers there are (to rephrase an old axiom). Lawyers create work by making the law increasingly complicated and us therefore more dependent on them. Or am I being unfair?

UPDATE: Indiana Parley weighs in.


Indiana Barrister
Mon, 12/12/2005 - 1:31pm

Indiana State to Start Law School?

From Saturday's Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Indiana State to Study Possibility of Opening Law School:Indiana State University officials are considering whether to start the state's third public law school, saying many interested students are not being ...