A new survey by Kaplan Test Prep of pre-law students finds a 16-point drop in the number considering careers in politics from just three years ago.
In 2009, 54 percent of those surveyed by the company expressed interest in running for political office someday, now only 38 percent say they would consider it. There is a severe gender-split among the pre-law students, with 51 percent of males saying they would consider running, but just 29 percent of women inclined to do the same.
Just 37% of members of the current Senate are lawyers, compared to the early 1970’s when it peaked at 51%. Who’s been filling the gap? Bankers and those from the business community, who make up 20% of today’s Senate.
Lawyers account for 24% of the current House of Representatives, down from a high of 43% in the early 1960’s. That’s on par with members who’ve worked in banking and business at 21% – in fact, 22 current congressmen and congresswomen hold an MBA.
Many pre-law students surveyed don’t see that decline as necessarily a bad thing: 30% said they think that there are already too many lawyers involved in politics; 16% said there were too few, while 54% said the number was about right.