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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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