Vanderbilt Law Review


Norman Bowie

First Page



The public believes that the practice of law has become a business.They also believe that lawyers are in the profession for the money and that everything a law firm does is motivated by greed-well not every-hing, in L.A. Law lawyers are motivated by greed and lust. Allegedly,lawyers overcharge, create work, and delay in order to make more money. In return lawyers produce nothing useful; they do not make cars, steel, or heavy machinery. They are perceived by many as social parasites who make a handsome living off the productive labor of others. Economists note that the United States' workforce has a higher percentage of lawyers than that of Japan.' Economists argue that it would be better for American business if more of our best and brightest would be engineers rather than lawyers.' Arguably, lawyers merely redistribute income. Because the best lawyers work for powerful corporations where the money is, the legal profession as a whole shifts money from the poor to the rich.' The public perceives lawyers as being worse than business people because in addition to being motivated by greed--as business people are--lawyers produce nothing useful.