With a great amount of pride my wife and I attended another graduation exercise again this past Sunday. Our daughter-in-law received her Master’s Degree in a ceremony with more than 6200 members of the class of 2011.
We were on Thomas Jefferson’s old stomping grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia and the key note speaker was our popular and conservative Governor Bob McDonnell. Virginia as the cradle of American democracy is probably a good deal more patriotic than most States. As the color guard made up of ROTC cadets came through the ranks of families and friends all stood in respect. This graduation included the Pledge of Allegiance in addition to the National Anthem. In contrast to the last graduation I described the National Anthem was played by Fort Lee’s band and not sung though it was interesting that many in the crowd sang.
As some of the less interesting parts of the ceremony were taking place we amused ourselves by reading many of the Doctoral thesis titles. However as I scanned the ranks of the various degrees something jumped out at me. One hundred and thirty seven (137) medical doctors graduated that day against two hundred and ninety four (294) lawyers. What's wrong with that picture?
Medical costs are going up while our courts are choked with frivolous and useless lawsuits. Might we be better off in the long run with twice as many doctors as lawyers? I can’t imagine that we wouldn’t be. I have required a doctor many more times in my life than I have required a lawyer. Though I have been blessed with good health, most of the time that I needed a doctor I needed one urgently. I can’t say the same with lawyers. I generally needed a lawyer because we can’t buy a house, start a business, close an estate, or interpret many of our laws without one. That isn’t because people are stupid, but rather because legal documents are written in language that is indecipherable to the layman and no doubt that is intentional.
137 to 294 – Without a doubt that number is upside down.