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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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