As time goes by, do you seem to be bumping into more lawyers?

The ratio of lawyers to residents in the District of Columbia is ever on the rise. Consider the following ratios; In 1871, there was one lawyer for every 603 residents. In 1949, there was one lawyer for every 183 residents. In 1970, there was one lawyer for every 47 residents. In 1983, there was one lawyer for every 29 residents.

Assuming that, as in the past, the number of lawyers multiplies six times in the next 34 years and thereafter, then by the year 2045 Washington will become the perfect adversarial city-state: one active local lawyer for every resident of the federal city; assuming of course that the city's population doesn't increase -- and given those conditions, why should it? Where can you move to avoid this?

In 1970, other cities could boast of these lawyer-to-population ratios: Baltimore had one lawyer for every 246 people. Chicago had one lawyer for every 234 people. New York had one lawyer for every 134 people. Boston had one lawyer for every 121 people. The best place in town to cry out for legal help.

Let's say a Metrobus just ran over you. You probably want it to happen in the 1700 block of K Street, where 318 lawyers list numbers in the D.C. Yellow Pages. Other notable concentrations of lawyers: 1700 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, 304 listings; 1600 block of K Street, 293 listings; Connecticut Avenue from the 800 to the 1200 block is a canyon with considerable legal thunder: 762 listings. What do all these lawyers do?

In 1977 when Washington ranked 46th among the states in population, it was 21st in criminal cases filed and ninth in civil cases. In 1982, 42,000 criminal cases were filed in the District's courts and 130,000 civil -- roughly one legal headache for every four District citizens, and that doesn't include federal cases.

In 1981 approximately 23,735 clients were helped by non-profit legal groups in Washington.

In 1963, Arnold and Porter had 30 layers; in 1977, it grew to 105; in 1982, it had 153.

Hogan and Hartson had 47 lawyers in 1963; in 1977, it grew to 120; and in 1982, it had 139. Is there a lawyer in the House? In the 95th Congress there were 68 lawyers in the Senate and 223 in the House. In both the 96th and 97th Congresses, those numbers declined: 65 and 59 senators in the 96th and 205 and 194 representatives in the 97th. In the present Congress, lawyers are making a rebound: 61 in the Senate and 200 in the House. The other side of the law. Not all lawyers zoom to the top. Some stray. In the year ending June 1982, the D.C Bar conducted 454 investigations of its members and brought 54 formal charges. What do I do now? According to the American University Law School placement office, 73 percent of its graduates who responded to a survey had jobs in the legal profession by December after graduation. In 1982, the percentage dropped to 63 percent. Are all these lawyers getting rich?

In 1980, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 1,087 legal service establishments in the District, and they employed 15,102 people (up 12.6 percent from the year before) with a payroll of $344,790,000 (up 27.7 percent from the year before).

According to Federal Legal Employment Report, the starting salary for a lawyer in a prestigous Washington firm is $40,000. The starting grade for a lawyer in the federal government is GS9.