Legal Aid Leads to More Lawyers than Police in the UK

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Legal Aid Leads to More Lawyers than Police in the UK

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:18 pm

There are now more lawyers in the country than police officers!

The number of qualified solicitors and barristers has shot up over the past decade to 165,000 in England and Wales.

By contrast, the official count of police officers was 142,363 last autumn – a total which is likely to fall in the wake of spending cuts.

The ranks of solicitors working for law firms grew by 42.4 per cent between 2000 and 2010, and there has been an increase of nearly 70 per cent in lawyers employed by local government since 1997 – taking the total of fully qualified practicing solicitors on town hall payrolls to 4,631; that’s approximately 12 per council.

Lawyers’ pay has been rising fast at a time when many workers in both the private and public sectors have become accustomed to job losses and salary cuts. Last year the average starting salary of a trainee solicitor was £26,327.

Since the 1990s the work available to lawyers has grown significantly, in part thanks to ‘no win, no fee’ cases and the growth of human rights law.

The full impact of the human rights law was revealed in February, when legal advice to ministers showed that tens of thousands of former prisoners are preparing to sue for compensation because they were denied the right to vote while in jail.

Lawyers have said that if ministers fail to allow prisoners the vote, the cost to taxpayers of settling such claims could amount to almost £150 million. And we wonder why we can’t afford more policemen on the streets! Sad


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