Friday, May 17, 2013

They Do It In Maine, Too

Check out the headline on this article from the Bangor Daily News:

UMaine law school grads to help fill the state’s growing need for lawyers

Already, we're golden. Growing need for lawyers? Where the **** are they getting this from? Really? Like really for real really? People are still trying to play this card?

Enter Dean Peter Pitegoff carrying the well-worn EPIC GENERATIONAL VACUUM:

There are about 3,700 lawyers living and practicing in Maine, with more than 1,000 over the age of 60, Peter Pitegoff, dean of Maine Law, said recently. In the state’s five most rural counties, more than half the attorneys are over 60, he said.

Over the age of 60?! Oh noes, they've only got 25 years of practice time left!

Reality check: rural lawyers don't practice by the county. They practice over numerous counties, sometimes 10, 20, 30, or even statewide. Attorneys in larger cities have no problem driving in order to litigate juicy cases. So the only thing most counties need is a judge, a prosecutor, a public defender (often imported from the next county) and 1-2 random people to do wills, probate litigation, real estate transactions, and the occasional messy divorce, and those attorneys often have to work over multiple counties to get the volume necessary to sustain a practice.

BUT BUT BUT THEY'RE ALL RETIRING. LOL - good one, Dean. Glad to see that despite living in the Nova Scotia of America, you've managed to find the Cooley Handbook.

Even if this were true (it's not), getting young blood to replace old is mere replacement. In no way does it express growth of any kind. So getting the journalist to claim there's a "growing need for lawyers" is scam-diddly-tastic.

And then there's this chicanery:

The Maine Department of Labor projected that there would be a total of 74 openings for lawyers each year between 2010 and 2020. Of those, 54 would be replacement openings and 20 would be new positions. The average hourly wage in 2011 was listed at $49.04 compared to the national hourly wage of $54.21 per hour. The figures do not include self-employed attorneys.

This year, there are 97 graduates — 45 men and 52 women — of the UMaine School of Law seeking those 74 openings. Fifty-eight of them are from Maine and 39 from out of state.

See, law schools themselves can't fudge numbers anymore, so we have to get creative with the slicksterism and have journalists do it for them.

What's this slight of hand ignoring?

How about the ~80 people who pass the Maine bar exam who didn't go to Maine?

It's not 97 Maine grads for 74 openings, it's 170 new attorneys for 74 positions. And, uh, that median wage is a good $20/hr higher than the EMS numbers.

And all signs suggest that the surplus in Maine is actually growing rather than shrinking.

But to the Bangor Daily News and Dean Pitegoff they've got to keep pumping out grads to meet the state's "growing" need for attorneys.

It's probably a good time to mention that Dean Pitegoff is the highest paid state employee in Maine, raking in almost 300k in 2012. (See p. 8, which also notes that six-figure earners in the Maine system have expanded by 200% since 2003...GOOOOOO MAINE!).

Happy weekend, fellow scammers. I'm off to hit the bar and then pitch for law school at a local high school graduation. The fliers say "MODELS AND BOTTLES." Little do they know it's Model Ts and bottles of Aspirin. Suckerzzz.

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