Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A government of lawyers, not men

You claim that Monday's factoids of the day were misleading.  I reject that assertion, which is premised on what you perceive to be my unstated interpretation of the undisputed factoids I provided.  My stated interpretation, I thought, was pretty clear:  you should get a job as a government lawyer if you can.

As to your specific points, I concede that the federal government is usually trying to recruit the same lawyers that big firms are trying to recruit, and that the big firms generally pay a higher nominal salary than the government, so the comparison isn't perfect.  But government lawyers also work fewer hours, making the hourly comparison difficult.  And government lawyers all work less, since they get generous vacation benefits that big firm lawyers could only dream about.  (On the other hand, most government lawyers live in DC or other big cities, where the standard of living is higher.) 

But I actually think your post raises a deeper question:  should the federal government be trying to recruit the same lawyer as big firms?  In other words, does the federal government really need to be competing with the private sector to attract the very best (or at least most highly credentialed) attorneys?  There's a case to be made, I think, that the federal government could get by with average lawyers, and that --given its generous benefits-- it could still probably recruit halfway decent lawyers with significantly lower median salaries of, say, $100k.  This plan would save the US almost a billion dollars a year.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments on posts older than 30 days are moderated because almost all of those comments are spam.