« Heading for New York | Main | Good News »

Licensing Update

Awesome!  Via TJIC:

Ten minutes after finding out I passed the Bar, I changed my long-running position on licensure, which it turns out is awesome. Not only does it allow me to collect above market rents–which lawyers need because law school is so damned expensive–but it also keeps those who can’t afford law school or Barbri from practicing law. This is good because poor people make bad choices anyway, and I know that because one week in college I ate Ramen noodles for a week, and that’s the week I decided to major in music. Also your average poor person, usually cursed with some manner of hump or undeveloped siamese twin, will not fit into a decent suit…

In sum, remember when choosing a lawyer that I was the first one to finish the New York Bar exam, and though I probably didn’t get the highest score, I got the not-highest score the fastest. So if you’ve got the choice between an attorney who will show up at 7 AM sharp, with an obviously freshly dry-cleaned suit, and me, who will be jogging fifteen minutes behind him while pulling on a shirt and cleaning up some stubble with an electric razor, remember: the other guy’s smarter, of course, but I’m still competent. And a lot better rested. Plus I’m not going to judge you for running that red light and hitting that old lady–that’s what this case is about, right? Or was that my other client?–because chances are I nailed two or three myself on the way over this morning.

More on licensing

Posted on November 20, 2007 at 08:23 AM | Permalink


I once had a conversation with the girl who washed my hair prior to a haircut. I was shocked that her profession was licensed. When I expressed this shock, she got defensive and told me that her profession is *important* enough to need licensure.

Never forget the low self-esteem angle for why people want a gvernment license.

Posted by: Bearster | Nov 20, 2007 10:20:50 AM

Just so long as there's a hefty tax (preferably annual) so that "We The People" get a cut of the inflated earnings your license entitles you to.

Posted by: Knucklehead | Nov 20, 2007 10:21:52 AM

Can't comment your original liquor licensing post anymore - but no beer imported from Germany should have any additives, and would thus be classified as "beer" in California (the Reinheitsgebot only allows water, yeast, hops, and malt (wheat or barley)).

Posted by: Jens Fiederer | Nov 20, 2007 11:04:36 AM

Bearster: Hairdressing allegedly is licensed because salons often use some fairly hazardous chemicals for "professional" dye jobs and maybe even permanents. E.g., I don't think the concentration of the H2O2 salons normally buy for hair bleaching is quite high enough to be used as rocket fuel or pose an explosion hazard, but it can certainly cause serious chemical skin burns if not diluted.

The trouble is, the licensing also applies to many workers who never use those chemicals. At least, I hope that the salon's shampoo isn't based on hazardous materials! Also, hair-cuts, braiding, and many other salon operations require no chemicals at all. IIRC, in some state hair-braiders recently won a court victory against anti-competitive licensing for which the alleged reason was "hazardous chemicals."

Posted by: markm | Nov 20, 2007 2:24:26 PM

Mark: if the potential for danger is the justification for licensing, then everyone ought to be licensed!

Think of it, licenses for aassault bricks, licenses for 8 year-olds to run around in the woods, and CERTAINLY licenses for plugging appliances into 110VAC elecrical outlets!

Perhaps this reductio ad absurdum illustrates why this doesn't make any sense...

Posted by: Bearster | Nov 21, 2007 1:09:57 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.