Sunday, July 28, 2013

Public opinion surveys find people have low opinion of attorneys but still want their kids to become one

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports the somewhat contradictory results of two recent public opinion surveys, at least one of which might help explain why law school applications haven't declined even more given all the bad publicity about the state of the legal job market.  According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, most of the American public thinks attorneys don't contribute much to society's "well-being."  Indeed, lawyers ranked at the very bottom of the professions that were the subject of the survey which included the military (ranked highest), journalists and business execs.  Yet in another survey conducted by, at least two-thirds of the parents who were asked said that they would like their children to become lawyers (or at least marry one).

According to the survey, 64 percent of parents hope their children will grow up to pursue legal careers. The results suggest the legal field is a particular aspiration for lower income families, with 80 percent of parents who make less than $25,000 per year saying they would like their child to become a lawyer, versus 54 percent of parents who make at least $75,000.

Becoming lawyers may even make kids look better to their future mothers-in-law, with 55 percent of moms expressing interest in their children marrying attorneys. They might have a little trouble with fathers-in-law, however — only 38 percent are so eager to give their blessings.

“Being a lawyer means being a respected professional, and that’s something that parents want for their children,” said Larry Bodine, Esq., editor-in-chief of “Despite the tough economy facing the next generation, it’s exciting to note that nearly two-thirds of parents would be happy with a law degree in their child’s future.”

Click here for the original WSJ post (though a subscription may be required).


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