May 2, 2006, - 1:04 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Yes, gas prices are outrageous. As are the salaries of some oil execs. But as outrageous and excessive as they are, they are a result of what the free market will bear.
We compare calls by liberals (and some Republicans) to limit oil execs’ salaries to their absolute silence regarding some of the nation’s lawyers and THEIR salaries.
USA Today reports that the average profit per partner at one of America’s Big 100 law firms is over $1 million. The top 10 firms all topped $2 million per firm, with one, Wachtell, garnering $3.8 million per partner. All of the top firms made at least close to a million, if not much more, in firm revenue per attorney.
To be sure, the average lawyer in America is not making that kind of money, but then neither is the average oil company executive.
The figures were compiled by The American Lawyer (scroll down & click on various charts), which puts out the “Am Law 100”–a sort of Forbes 100 version for law firms. Their gross revnue ws a whopping $51 billion, and seven of the big law firms garnered over a billion EACH!
Since lawyers are often an unnecessary tax on society, and oil companies actually produce a commodity that Americans need to be mobile, which is more deserving of regulation? Well, that depends on whether you are asking a Member of Congress or Senator, most of whom are lawyers, and most of whom get a significant portion of their campaign contributions from the fattest cats of the wealthiest law firms.
When Sen. Charles Schumer, for example, whines that their are too many mergers of oil companies and less competition (and he’s right about that), why does he not whine about the mergers of so many giant law firms, which ALSO leads to less competition and higher prices both for legal services and every other good and service that’s ever been a victim of unscrupulous lawyers? While Schumer talks tough about oil, he’s a ninny when it comes to tort reform.
Tags: America, attorney, average lawyer, average oil company executive, Charles Schumer, Congress, Debbie Schlussel Yes, Forbes, gas prices, giant law firms, law firms, lawyer, legal services, oil, oil execs, Senator, The American Lawyer, USA Today, USD, wealthiest law firms