Will 2011 be the year of the lawyer? Unfortunately, I think it will be, because I think the year, at least politically, will be a year filled with two things: regulation and litigation.
Regulation, because, as we’ve already seen with the FCC’s “Net Neutrality” power grab, when the Obama Administration is not able to achieve what it wants via legislation (and it should NOT be able to do that this year), it will try and do so via regulation. And of course, regulation means lawyers getting more work for two reasons (1) the poor companies who operate under the regulations need lawyers to untangle all the vague and often contradictory legalese; (2) those companies, and others interested in protecting individual rights, will need lawyers to fight the regulations in the courts.
Litigation will be needed not only to fight the regulations, but also to try and undo some of the damage done during Obama’s first two years in office. While the Republicans will (they better!!) do their best to repeal some of the behemoth legislation that was rammed down Americans’ throats in 2010, particularly Obamacare, does anyone seriously think Obama will sign any of those repeal bills, even if they are able to be passed in the Senate? I don’t. So that means more work for lawyers!
Disclaimer: Yes, I happen to be a lawyer. But don’t think I’m glad about all this lawyerly activity in 2011, except in the sense that things could be worse: Obama could still be holding a blank check on Americans’ lives and fortunes, as he has for the last two years. Also, I will likely get to see lawyers fighting the good fight this year, which is really why any good lawyer gets into this business in the first place.
Which reminds me: as an academic lawyer, I have some more grading to do…
Happy New Year all!