I've read somewhere that the US got half the worlds lawyers. Not sure if it's true, but I think it's still quite disproportional with 4% of the worlds population.

Will too many lawyers in a country reduce freedom for the people instead of increasing and securing it? Too many lawyers nitpicking and wasting time and money on unimportant issues that should better be resolved directly between people. Too many lawyers could stifle innovation and creative people doing things differently because they will worry "is this or that allowed, will I be sued?". It's a cultural thing. "See you in court" is a known American movie phrase that fascinates people around the world who's not used to lawyers being involved "everywhere" except for the most extreme cases. American doctors are afraid of being sued or afraid of having a too weak insurance against being sued. The whole health care insurance system is infected with lawyers, maybe even more of them than doctors? Threatening to sue is also many (not so) grown up bullies' favorite weapon of choice when things don't go their way. Will too many lawyers with too few real tasks threaten the freedom of a people instead of securing it? (Of course too few can also be a problem)

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    Welcome to this site! Unfortunately your question does not fit very well to this site. It asks about opinions on a very broad topic. The SE-system is not suited well for such questions with no objective best answer. See also law.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask. Maybe you have more concentrated and fact based questions when thinking about this topic and you may ask these as new questions.
    – K-HB
    Dec 19, 2020 at 12:31
  • yah, maybe it's more about politics or cultural differences than specifically about law (maybe I'll copy-paste it to another forum)
    – Kjetil S.
    Dec 19, 2020 at 13:11
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    This seems to be more a rant based on your idea of law from movies than a question. Dec 19, 2020 at 14:56
  • I don't think you will finds Politics.SE is a good fit for this either. They also don't fit well for purely opnion-based questions.. Dec 19, 2020 at 14:58
  • It's both a (provocative?) rant and something I've really wondered about. Can a country or a culture have too many lawyers for it's own good? And if so, where do we draw the line? I think we're starting to see the same development in some European countries. Lawyers trickling in in places where they didn't used to be. And not always in a good way.
    – Kjetil S.
    Dec 19, 2020 at 15:01

2 Answers 2


this is probably going to be closed as opinion based, but here is an attempt at perspective.

Not sure if it's true,

It's blatantly wrong. There are 1.3 million lawyers in the US and there about 2 million lawyers in India alone. There are 180+ other countries with lawyers as well, so the claim that US has half of the world's lawyers is ridiculous.

An easier metric to look it is how many layer's per say, 100,000 people. That's about 400 in the US as compared 380 in Italy, 230 in the UK or 200 in Germany. So it's more in the US but not that much more.

You also seem to associate "lawyer" with lawsuit, crime and conflict. Most lawyers don't do any of this: they write contracts, do negotiations, close real estate, write patents, help you get a green card or write your will etc. They are just offering professional services for day to day administrative and business stuff.

There is a lot of country to country variation here as well: there are way more real estate lawyers in the US than in Germany: In the US the sale of house is handled by a lawyer, in Germany it's done by a Notary.

I've been living both in the US and in Europe and never noticed a significant difference in every day life.

So you basically formed a question and hypothesis based on BAD DATA and BAD ASSUMPTIONS. Movies and TV shows are a TERRIBLE source of information. It's entertainments, not facts and has often nothing to with reality at all. Random quotes on the internet are a TERRIBLE source of information. It's click bates or agenda pushing, but not facts.

Fact checking is easy enough to do and stack exchange even has a website for that specific purpose. https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/ I recommend doing some basic fact checking BEFORE forming your own theories.


Will too many lawyers in a country reduce freedom for the people instead of increasing and securing it?

The oversupply of lawyers is increasingly evident but, regarding freedom, people's utter lack of background in law is the root problem because it prevents them from exercising their options at both individual and collective levels. Lawyers merely profit from that ignorance.

It is true and logical that in this context of oversupply many lawyers indulge in misconduct and malpractice, more so if their morals and chances to switch career are poor beforehand. However, much of the legislation in the US provides neither [compensation for] "damages" nor attorney fees for unimportant issues. In those cases, lawyers profit from the client whose ignorance renders him a charlatan's easy prey. Something similar occurs in matters which are important enough and at the same time ought to be common knowledge (both because such matters do not entail much legal complexity and because they constitute an essential element of living in a civilized society).

Collectively, ignorance keeps people unaware of much of the ongoing corruption in the legal "profession", including the judiciary and even the legislature. Because of that ignorance they fail to unite and react, be it for preventing (1) the re-election of inept judges, (2) a disciplinary board's leniency of lawyers' malpractice, or (3) the permanence of detrimental legislation & laws.

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