Is the Law Industry Becoming Oversaturated?
There are two professions parents tend to push their children into pursuing: doctor or lawyer. One of these two is in high-demand, and the other is becoming saturated. However, even with an understanding of the over-saturation of the law industry, men and women are still racing towards obtaining their law degree. Some may say that this influx in attorneys will be short-lived and only the strong will come out on top. Maybe so, but that is a risk many are not willing to take, especially when that risk comes with enormous college debt. So, is the law industry becoming so saturated that it’s not even worth pursuing?
How Many Lawyers Are There?
According to Statista data, in 2019, the number of attorneys in the United States stood at 1.35 million. Incredibly, this number is over 15 percent more than it was just ten years ago. This data has been provided mostly by each state’s bar association or licensing agency. You might be saying to yourself that you’ll just specialize in personal injury as this is the most common, and thus the probability of finding work is high. As the old saying goes, “There are no new ideas.” Civil litigation, corporate law, and healthcare law are also common fields.
Companies Are Downsizing
There was a time when the last thing a company did was diminish its team of attorneys. However, according to many CEOs and high-level executives, this is exactly what they are planning on doing. Over 60 percent of executives state that having too many attorneys on their payroll is costing them more money than what they are worth. Most have already begun downsizing their teams only to include a handful of attorneys to represent their companies.
Why Can’t They Find Work?
Although the actual skills and services that attorneys provide are very much needed, there are simply not enough people in demand for them. This isn’t due to suddenly everyone following the law or not being involved in accidents; it’s that for every 244 Americans, there is one lawyer. That is the equivalent of creating a new city and instantly making it the ninth biggest city in America. Then there is the dark side of the law that comes with those numbers. After a while, we will begin to see practicing law not as a service people pay for but rather a hunt to obtain the most profit. This creates mistrust amongst the public and produces less demand for attorneys, especially those fresh out of law school. Also, a trend toward outsourcing or giving legal work to legal assistants or paralegals is growing.
What’s Being Done?
Lawyers are now seeking ways to promote their services to a greater range of people. While advertising on TV or billboards can work to some degree, today, lawyers need complex PPC campaigns to get in front of potential clients. PPC, or pay-per-click, advertising essentially brings business to attorneys when people click on their ads on third-party websites. The attorney pays a cost for each click generated from these websites. Their advertising could also involve including lawyer SEO keywords on these web pages.
For many Americans, switching their college major is often out of the question. Debt has been piled on, and most of their studies have been completed. There is simply no choice but to finish their law school career. However, is that simply all they can do? Hope that they will find a job after school? Some lawyers are looking into the technology sector. Also, a decrease in the need for legal advice is partially due to much of it being offered online for free or for considerably lesser than what an attorney would charge. Many new attorneys are seeking to capture this market by making their services available to online users as well as doing consulting work with these online companies.
Should you consider switching majors? Is the law industry simply too full? Understandably, these questions should be asked by students and current attorneys. The field of law may not be the shoo-in that it once was, but that does not mean you cannot adapt and innovate your law firm. Simply adhere to the details listed above to begin not only preparing yourself for a tough market but also to find ways to stay on top of the competition.
Looking for a job as a lawyer or just in general? Try the tips in this article!