Can someone please explain to me why lawyers cost so much if there is a surplus of them?
This concept seems to violate principles of supply and demand. If there are too many lawyers, why would this not decrease the cost of legal representation? If a lawyer cannot find a job at a firm, why can't he or she start a firm and just charge less than the exorbitant going rate? Thanks!
- YetiLv 72 years agoFavorite Answer
There is not a surplus. Your premise is incorrect.
There are more attorneys seeking the high paying private positions than there are such positions available.
There are far from enough attorneys serving those in the low and middle income brackets.
Because the cost of law school has gotten insane, you start hearing the horror stories of people with huge debt who cannot find the high paying jobs they wanted to find to pay it off.
Some attorneys do start their own firms or just work individually, and charge more affordable rates. However, to stay afloat over time, they tend to drift towards taking the types of cases that compensate them more, such as in criminal defense, personal injury, real estate, etc. They tend to have big student loans to pay off, too.
Lots of attorneys also find it doesn't make financial sense to start their own firm, and they go into other work entirely, like insurance or banking, where they can be better compensated and not have to function as a small business on their own. Not many people are willing to rack up over $100,000 (or $200,000) of loan debt in school, then go into more debt to start their own practice, only to charge "affordable" rates that compensate them, say, $40,000/year, when the local bank will hire them in a non-attorney role at twice the pay.
Again, your basic presumption that there is a universal "surplus" of lawyers is incorrect. Not finding a high paying job at a private firm does not mean there's a surplus overall. And supply and demand does result in the attorneys that remain in practice charging rates the market allows.
- AthenaLv 72 years ago
What makes you think they cost so much?
Just what is YOUR time worth ?
- Nekkid Truth!Lv 72 years ago
Well it seems they are still getting hired for what they charge, so evidently it is not a matter of supply and demand here.
You're paying for a professional service.
- Tom thumbLv 62 years ago
They are greedy hogs