Judge Laurence Silberman interviewed

By Peter Robinson, at Uncommon Knowledge (site):

Lawyering is an essential component of democratic capitalism, but too much lawyering can be too much of a good thing. A disproportionate amount of our talent in the United States goes into law as opposed to business, which creates wealth. Lawyers redistribute the wealth, but they do not generally produce wealth.

Judge Silberman’s classic 1978 article, “Will Lawyering Strangle Democratic Capitalism?” — originally published at my old magazine Regulation, though before my time there — is available in PDF form from Cato here.

Related: “Scalia: ‘We Are Devoting Too Many of Our Best Minds to’ Lawyering” [WSJ Law Blog]


  • I hate to defend lawyers, but this argument strikes me as bogus. Lawyers draw up licensing agreements, for example, that make business ventures possible. How does this not create wealth? Only a very small percentage of lawyers are trial lawyers.

  • “Lawyering is an essential component of democratic capitalism..”


    What the heck is “democratic capitalism” ??

    “Lawyers” are not essential to anything; their few worthwhile functions can readily be performed by non-lawyers.

    Modern lawyers are official agents of the government as members of the Bar. They are credentialed at government regulated “law schools”… where they learn only the government view of law & judicial process.

  • […] ever been to law school, you’ll get a kick out of it.  Overlawyered is another great, far more serious, legal […]