The Who’s Better Off Game:Legal Services Workers

When the nation struggles, do lawyers cash in? Republicans looking for a bright sign in an otherwise gloomy economic record can find one in the legal industry. Of course, then they’d have to stomach discussing why so many more lawyers are working today than four years ago, and why they’re making so much more money…

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Lawyers have little to complain about these days. Law firms are adding jobs, and salaries are climbing. True, there are some black spots — in California, where the dot-com collapse rippled through law firms, there are about 8 percent fewer lawyers employed today than there were four years ago. But across the country, lawyers are making out very well.

The same can’t necessarily be said for paralegals and legal secretaries, however. Nationwide, payrolls have grown by more than 15 percent, but incomes have dropped. In New York, for instance, where there are about 2,000 more paralegals working today than in 2000, real wages have dropped by nearly 20 percent.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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