Monday, October 5, 2015

Lawyer population growth

The ABA reports:
The ABA chart generally measures the population of both active and resident lawyers as of Dec. 31, 2014. It shows the 10-year growth in Texas lawyer population was 24.6 percent, below that of Florida (53.3 percent), Utah (46.1 percent), North Carolina (33.7 percent), Arizona (30.6 percent), North Dakota (27.9 percent), Tennessee (27.8 percent), Wyoming (27.6 percent), Pennsylvania (27.4 percent, though a shift in the reporting agency yielded more accurate numbers), Georgia (25.7 percent), and Delaware ( 25.4 percent).
27.6% for Wyoming?

It'd be interesting to know what percentage of that was made up of actual Wyoming lawyers, as opposed to lawyers gaining admittance via the UBE but who don't actually live here.  At least based upon fairly well informed sources, recently what we are tending to see here are UBEers, that is lawyers who live elsewhere and get in simply because they've taken a test that doesn't actually test on Wyoming's law.  Many of them do not live here and do not intend to.  That's the real story, or at least a potential real story, behind these figures. And that's something that's worth looking at.

Including worth looking at, in that story, is whether the growth in "Wyoming" lawyers means there's been a demand within the state for legal services that has correspondingly grown.  If that's the case, should we restore a state test so as to make sure that those legal consumers' needs are being served.  And should we also seek to make certain that those needs are filled by lawyers actually living withing the communities that they're serving, i.e., by Wyoming lawyers whose ties to the state are direct, as they live there.

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