Thinking Citizen Blog — Is the Law Conservative? Is the Common Law Elitist? Are Lawyers in the US Too Powerful?

Thinking Citizen Blog — Saturday is Justice, Freedom, Law, and Values Day

Today’s Topic: Is the Law Conservative? Is the Common Law Elitist? Are Lawyers in the US Too Powerful?

In the early 19th century, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that the power of lawyers in the US was the greatest barrier to the “excesses of democracy”? Was this true then? Is it true now? Do lawyers constitute a privileged elite with far too much power? Does a “common law” system give too much power to the judiciary relative to the legislature? Is the American Bar Association today a left-wing advocacy group? Today, a few notes. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

LAWYERS AS A PERCENTAGE OF THE NATIONAL LEGISLATURE (first link)

1. US: 46%, Chile 32%, Argentina 25%

2. Global average: 15%

3. Sweden 4%, Japan 4%, Netherlands 1%.

NB: 25 of 44 US Presidents were lawyers. 25 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were lawyers. (second, third links)

THE LAWYER FUND RAISING ADVANTAGE (first link)

1. “Lawyers consistently outperform other candidates in fundraising during the initial months of their campaigns.”

2. “Lawyer-candidates raised an average of $96,098, more than double the $44,012 raised on average by non-lawyers.”

3. “Graduates of elite law schools performed even better, raising on average $145,726.”

NB: “In contrast, candidates without four-year college degrees raised an average of $27,862.”

DECLINING DOMINANCE (third link) — See chart above.

1. “In the mid-19th century, around 80 percent of the U.S. Congress were lawyers.

2. “By the 1960s, this number had dropped to about 60 percent.”

3. “Today, just under 40 percent of the U.S. Congress are lawyers. The presidency has witnessed a similar pattern. While about 60 percent of all U.S. presidents since Independence have been lawyers, just four of the last 10 presidents have been lawyers.”

NB: “This does not necessarily mean lawyers’ political power is declining overall. For example, lawyers may still have a disproportionate role in lobbying, policymaking and civil society or as thought leaders.”

The real masters of the universe: The astounding influence lawyers have on U.S. government and policy

https://www.lawtechnologytoday.org/2016/02/before-they-were-presidents-they-were-lawyers/

Declining Dominance | The Practice

Yes, the ABA Is Still a Left-Wing Advocacy Group | National Review

A LINK TO THE LAST THREE YEARS OF POSTS ORGANIZED BY THEME:

PDF with headlines — Google Drive

YOUR TURN

Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to justice, freedom, the law or basic values. Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to justice, freedom, the law, or basic values. Or just some random justice-related fact that blew you away.

This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply about something dear to your heart.

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