In the United States, many elected officials have law degrees and many aspiring politicians use law school as a first step in their political careers. In most other parts of the world, this close connection between the legal profession and political careers is rarer. In fact, in addition to having more lawyers per capita than other countries, there are many more lawyer-politicians in the United States than elsewhere.

Since the founding of the United States, lawyers have played a key role in the U.S. political system. Of the fifty-two signers of the Declaration of Independence (1776), twenty-five were lawyers, and thirty-one of the fifty-five members of the Continental Congress were lawyers. Lawyers have also dominated many state legislatures throughout American history, as well as the state ...

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