Bailout for divorce lawyers?

There was an article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal jokingly wondering where the bailout was for the nation’s divorce lawyers.  They note that unlike bankruptcy or personal injury practice, divorce filings drop off steeply in a recession.  Apparently divorcing spouses are able to put financial planning ahead of their immediate differences.  

I have noticed as a regular pattern that the number of people calling about divorce situations drops off during the cold winter months – usually with the rest of the West Virginia economy.  Then, like clockwork, as soon as spring hits, and the birds and the bees return, so does the inclination to start looking for a divorce lawyer. Of course, there are those divorces that pop-up regardless of the economy and finances – and those are truly special cases, sure to give any attorney that personal gratification that comes with handling a very special divorce case.

The article also notes that: 

There are now some 1,162,124 attorneys in the U.S., and the law schools are spewing out graduates at a rate of 43,518 a year, all set adrift upon a public that increasingly doesn’t have money to pay for their services. There is no other profession more dependent on discretionary spending, except perhaps the oldest one.

People don’t realize that, unlike the medical, dental, or veterinary professions, there really is no limitation on the amount of students that can attend law school.  They are all over the place, and there are more popping up every year.  If you really want to get in one, you can somewhere.  But that doesn’t mean there is a job waiting for you when you get out (in debt).  

 – John H. Bryan, West Virginia Attorney

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