THE CLIENT IS BETTER SERVED WHEN THERE IS AN OVERSUPPLY OF LAWYERS BECAUSE OF SIMPLE SUPPLY AND DEMAND PRINCIPALS.
The reality is that the nature of lawyering and its so-called "zealous advocacy" means that clients probably get a worse outcome when there are a bunch of starving lawyers in their community, particularly young starving lawyers.
Back in "the old days," there was a sense of community and professionalism among attorneys. They knew each other on some level personally and professionally. They treated each other with respect knowing that they would encounter each other throughout their careers. A good professional reputation actually meant something. They tried to work out resolutions with opposing counsel that left both their client in a good position as well as their own reputation in tact.
Now practicing law is nothing more than a hyper-partisan, full-contact, blood sport. More experienced attorneys routinely take advantage of personality intangibles to gain an advantage over the younger inexperienced attorneys. It is common to witness attorneys bullying and being unreasonable simply for the sake of being unreasonable and trying to gain an intangible advantage quite unrelated to the merits of the case itself. Today when you sit through a deposition the testimony is incidental to the proceeding. It is all about attorneys sniping, obstructing and objecting at each other.
Young attorneys who have no career option but to hang a shingle do not receive the practical mentoring they need to know how to process a matter for a client. Many times they are just plain wrong in their handling of a matter. They double down even when the opposing counsel tries to politely explain to them why they are wrong. It is not uncommon for young attorneys to not even know the proper theories or statutes to proceed under. They have no one to mentor them and no one to ask how to handle a particular legal matter. All of this results in unnecessary and costly legal work which doesn't solve the clients problem.
It is not uncommon now to see attorneys "run up the bill" on good paying clients instead of trying to get a good result for them factoring in the cost of litigation.That is what happens when there isn't lots of work to go around. It is also common to see distorted litigation being conducted because most or all of the litigants will have the file on contingent fee and everyone is trying to distort the outcome so that they can make more money. Simple files with a small pot of money in dispute will be huge drawn out legal proceedings because all the attorneys are trying to get a percentage of the entire pot instead of the part their client is actually entitled to receive.
Imagine a pit holding a bunch of vicious hungry lions. Then add a bunch of starving young lion cubs to the mix. Then throw a few scraps of meat in. Watch what happens. It's not good.
The myth that "the client is better served by an oversupply of lawyers" is BUSTED.
This ends our "Legal Urban Legend Myth Buster" Series for now. The bottom line is that law schools report as employed all the graduates who could not find a paying job and were forced to hang a shingle. These young lawyers are for the most part struggling for survival and many will undoubtedly fold their fledgling practices in a year or two, but the law schools won't report that to you.
Feel free to add your own myth busters in the comment sections below.