There are about 35,000 new law school graduates each year. Many of these people have dreams of working for an impressive law firm and making a ton of money. However, this is not a reality for many people.
Lawyers tend to have a bit of mystery about them. It doesn’t have to be this way though; you can learn some interesting facts and be better informed the next time you need an attorney.
Keep reading for some fun facts about lawyers.
1. There Are a Lot of Them
There are 1.3 million lawyers practicing in the United States. Now compare that with the fact that there are 327 million people living in the United States. That means there is a lawyer for every 240 people.
2. Big Law Firms Aren’t Everything
When we think of lawyers, we immediately imagine those big law firms with impressive offices that have large bookcases and substantial wood desks. This is a reality for a small percentage of lawyers.
Most lawyers actually work in a boutique or mid-size firm. There is an advantage to working with a smaller law firm. They can give you more focus and specialized service with your case.
3. Not Everyone Makes 6 Figures
Most people assume that everyone who becomes a lawyer also becomes rich. After all, they went to all of that extra schooling, so shouldn’t they be raking in the dough?
This isn’t the case for many lawyers. The median pay for practicing lawyers is $120,000 per year. This equates out to about $58 per hour.
The median is the midpoint, so that means half of all lawyers make less than this amount. So a six-figure salary for many is just not the reality.
The salary that a lawyer makes will depend on what type of law they practice and where in the country they work. For instance, you can expect a lawyer in New York, California, and Washington DC to make more than one practicing in Montana.
4. The Government Is Dominated by Lawyers
The halls of congress are populated with lawyers. This isn’t anything new, either. Historically, the majority of people working in our country’s capital are lawyers.
Everyone from the representatives to their aides and interns, the majority are lawyers. There are logic and reason behind this, though.
You need to have a comprehensive understanding of public policy, legislative language, and the law. Lawyers are the most well equipped to draft effective new legislation.
5. Many Don’t Practice
Just because someone goes to law school and becomes a lawyer doesn’t mean they will spend their lives practicing law. Many people leave the profession or never begin.
Instead, they opt to use their education and skills in other industries. They could work in education, consulting, financial services, banking, or business development.
6. Envied and Not Disliked
There is a fine line between being disliked and being envied. Lawyers are one of the least trustworthy professions. There are only two professions that rank worse, business executive and lobbyists.
The interesting thing is that these people who claim to dislike and distrust lawyers actually envy them. There are a few reasons that reveal people’s true feelings.
- They are aggressive and intimidating
- They think they are smarter than everyone
- They are super expensive
- They use complicated language
These aren’t reasons to dislike someone. The dislike comes in with the perception that people who become lawyers think they are better and above everyone else.
7. You Are Guaranteed One
In the US, the legal justice system is supposed to be available for everyone. To do this, though, some people need assistance in hiring legal representation. So you are guaranteed a lawyer if you cannot afford one.
This law is all thanks to one poor man getting falsely convicted. He spent his time in the prison’s law library and petitioned the Supreme Court.
He successfully argued that he should have been provided a lawyer. The result was him retiring and being acquitted.
8. The Bar Is More Than a Test
The bar is what the test is called that law school graduates must take to become a lawyer. But that isn’t all it stands for.
It also refers to the physical gated wall that you see in the courtroom that separates the judges and lawyers from the general public. This makes the saying “passing the bar” make a whole lot more sense.
When you pass the bar test, you are then allowed to pass through the bar in the courtroom.
9. Some Become Actors
There are a surprising number of actors who have law degrees. This includes John Cleese, who is famous from the comedy troupe Monty Python.
The brainiac Ben Stein has a law degree and was the valedictorian from his alma mater Yale Law School. He even practiced for a while.
Gerard Butler was a week away from qualifying when he got fired from his Edinburgh law firm. While he didn’t succeed as a lawyer, his knowledge of the law has come in handy over the years.
The king of trashy talk shows Jerry Springer also has a law degree. Imagine, from a law degree to a talk show known for having people fight on stage.
Know Your Fun Facts About Lawyers
So how many of these interesting facts did you already know? Did any of these fun facts about lawyers make you think this could be the profession for you?
Whether you want to be one or just need to hire one, knowing these facts can help you when it comes to interacting with a lawyer.
Check out our Life section for more interesting and educational articles.