Patents are one of the few areas of the law where it's cheaper to attack than defend. And at present they are the greatest threat to the most dynamic sectors of an otherwise sclerotic economy.
Any politician that is not actively pushing to reform the patent issuance and defense process is blasting the seed corn with a blowtorch. Burning the future.
A colleague was telling me a story of using an area firm to collect a debt, and complained about the billing. Their attorneys were >$200/hour, and they'd often do 'status update' phone calls with more than one attorney on the line. My colleague just grimaced on these calls doing mental accounting of ... "well, that was a $600 call.... there was an $800 call, etc".
If there were, say, 3 people doing some work at... $250/hr, $600k can still go pretty fast (definitely less than 6 months of part time work).
The huge oversupply of lawyers is coming from lower-tier law schools.
Is there a relationship/correlation between a lawyer's capability and the school they come from? I'm sure informally it's something people assume but I have no practical experience dealing with or knowing about the quality of lawyers' work.
The average salary for a lawyer in the UK is well below the national average salary. For the average UK lawyer, starting at the floor at McDonalds and working your way up is more profitable when factoring in the cost of law school.
But when you're facing a lawsuit, people tend to not look for "the cheapest that'll do", but "the best you can afford". If supply increases and prices drop, then that means you hire a better lawyer, not a cheaper one, and the worse ones end up doing simpler tasks.