Thursday, February 9, 2012

Studies: lawyers and prostitutes charge the same

Science has recently confirmed what the general public knew all along: lawyers and hookers have a lot in common. Two 2009 studies from the economics departments of top US universities, Columbia University and University of Chicago have looked into the economics of prostitution, and I can't help but notice that the compensation patterns in lawyering and prostitution are remarkably similar.

The Columbia University study notes that both hi-end prostitutes and top lawyers charge around $1,000 per hour. On average, escorts who provide sex command some $280/hour which is similar to what an average private practice attorney charges for legal services.

Analogy carries further across the board: new solo law practitioners, just like women working without pimps, charge approximately half of what law firms and pimps bill for their associates. The extra fee is for setting up clients, mentoring and protection.

Solo practitioners (in both professions) run a higher risk of getting in trouble with the law than those working at escort agencies and/or law firms. The numbers are, again, similar: one out of every 300 US attorneys is disciplined by the bar association, whereas the U of Chicago study estimates that prostitutes are arrested once in every 450 tricks.

Times are tough all over

Prostitution lawyer

While both are high-earning professions, it appears that prostitution is much more recession-proof than lawyering. It is, thus, not surprising that lately there has been a good deal of cross-pollination between the two. Some attorneys now market themselves as “prostitution lawyers.”  Some prostitutes have been known to become lawyers, some attorneys have become escorts, but the truly versatile apparently manage to practice both law and real prostitution simultaneously.

Meet Reema Nicki Bajaj, 25, a small town Illinois attorney charged with offering to perform a $50(fifty) sex act on a man (like what? holding hands?) last year.

Not only Reema Nicki Bajaj is an attorney that apparently truly believes in reasonable rates, she has found a witty way to take advantage of her sudden international publicity. She now markets herself as a lawyer “with downtown expertise” who can “help you help yourself.” In other words, tire kickers can mind their own business and go help themselves; for everybody else there are non-refundable Visa, MC and Discover options at the bottom of the page. Needless to say, she is presumed as innocent as her eyes suggest, and until proven guilty. Hopefully, the latter won’t happen at her hearing next month.

Reema Nicki Bajaj's website