As of 2018, there are 1,338,678 active attorneys practicing in the United States. This is the most attorneys there have ever been practicing inside the nation’s borders, and is a marked leap from the 64,137 American lawyers practicing in 1878. Even lawyers will admit that the United States does not need all of these litigators, and that their existence has actually created legal issues and massive unnecessary costs that result in higher insurance rates for the average person. Torts, which is the term encompassing most frivolous lawsuits, cost small businesses $105.4 billion in 2008 alone. This figure only continues to increase annually, and it is these frivolous lawsuits that continue to besmirch well-meaning, useful attorneys everywhere. Having fewer less lawyers seeking out problems to sue over may not be the worst thing in the world.
Blockchain proponents hope that the technology will be able to create more sound, tamper-proof and legally unassailable agreements based on smart contract technology. While these won’t end the issue of torts, they should cut down significantly on the number of legal disputes clogging courts and raising lawyer fees for innocent parties. The technology could also reduce the cost of notary services, FOIA requests, and corporate filings, while streamlining and enhancing several other facets of the legal industry.