Bar President Cal Watson: Celebrate the profession's role in our economy
August 28, 2014
Dear Bar Members:
This Monday, September 1, is Labor Day. In recognition of this important holiday, I take this opportunity to reinforce the significant contributions our profession makes to the work force in South Carolina.
You might recall that in late 2012, the SC Bar commissioned a study on the economic impact of the legal profession in South Carolina. The study, completed in January 2013 by the Division of Research at the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business, found that the total impact of lawyers and law firms on the state of South Carolina is nearly $2.7 billion annually in economic output, which is associated with more than 23,000 jobs and $1.2 billion in labor income.
According to the report, the statewide employment multiplier is 1.78, which means that for every 100 jobs created by the legal profession, an additional 78 jobs are added to South Carolina’s economy. In turn, there is increased demand for goods and services and household spending—and a return of $60 in total economic activity for every $100 spent by the legal profession. These findings underscore the legal profession’s strong economic footprint in South Carolina, which is about 1.4 percent of the gross state product, a significant percentage as noted by the economic researcher.
Too often the legal profession is attacked for harming jobs and small businesses, and these types of claims can undermine the public’s trust of the legal system and the rule of law that is fundamental to our country. By using reputable statistics on economic activity and job creation, this economic study helps us dispute those claims and showcases the great good our profession provides.
We should applaud the positive impact South Carolina’s lawyers and law firms have on citizens and communities throughout the state. In addition to serving our clients, we provide professional, well-paying jobs and support other businesses and community members. I invite you to review the complete study at www.scbar.org/econstudy.
I am proud of South Carolina lawyers and the contributions we are making to this state. This Labor Day, please join me in celebrating the legal profession’s integral role in our state’s economy.
2014-15 Bar President