Lawyers And Math

The Denver Bar Association has once again proved the truism that many people go to law school because they can’t handle math.Denver’s Bar Association, like most county bar associations, has a monthly newsletter.  It’s called The Docket.  The October 2007 edition proclaims that it has been around for almost thirty years, by identifying the October issue as Volume 29, Issue 9 (while a “baker’s dozen” is 13, The Docket, a monthly newsletter, publishes a “lawyer’s dozen” issues a year, i.e. 11).

Like every publication delivered at periodical rates by the United States Post Office, The Docket must file a “Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation” once a year.

Alas, this newsletter is published by and for lawyers.  While, lawyers are generally good at filling out forms, they tend to be less good at math.  People who are good at math usually become doctors or engineers or accountants instead.  Meanwhile, English majors and philosophy majors often see prerequisite free law school, most of which relies solely on the written word, as a good alternative.  They gleely head to law school after having scraped by their undergraduate natural sciences requirement with “rocks for jocks” and the botany of wine.

Math is particularly hard for lawyers when a form is handwritten, and hence, requires you to do your own math, rather than having a computer program set up by someone else do it for you.

To meet the annual legal disclosure requirements, The Docket simply put a scanned copy of its Statement of Ownership deep inside its folds at page 22.

The form noted that the average total distribution of an issue of The Docket was 7,686 copies.

The form also noted that, on average, another 269 copies of each issue were not distributed. 

This, according to the lawyers at the docket, implied that The Docket prints, on average, a total of 2,955 copies, distributed and undistributed combined, of each issue.

The editor signed it, dated it and sent it off.  This, apparently, was good enough for government work.

Mr. Oh-Willeke is an attorney.  His undergraduate major was in mathematics.