According to answers.com there is: "one lawyer for every 265 Americans." This means that the United States has the highest per capita amount of lawyers in the world. While having an abundance of attorneys can be a net benefit for society because attorneys are needed both for civil as well as criminal law, as well as their desirability for their analytic skills, their understanding and respect for the law, along with their overall intelligence and fairness to their application of law. In fact, archives.org, states that out of the fifty-five delegates to our Constitutional convention, that "thirty-five were lawyers or had benefited from legal training." This would strongly imply that an understanding of the law is a good and fundamental trait for those that desire to create foundational documents that will stand strongly through the test of time.
It is probably fair to state that a country without laws is either an absolute paradise to which all that live within it, understand that there is a Higher law that governs man's life, or a land of absolute chaos, that survives with the animalistic motto that "might makes right". Ideally, lawyers exist within countries to assure the public that not only is the law fairly applied, but that law is sound and sensible to begin with. The problem, therefore, with too many lawyers, is somewhat similar to the problem of too many cooks. When your IQ is greater than average, your dedication and work-ethic are outstanding, you can reason well both inside and outside the box, you are highly motivated to exceed, as well as seeing the law as shades of grey and not something that is as simple as black or white, there are bound to be some significant changes in the daily dynamics of civilized life, to which our laws and the interpretation of such become something to be molded or twisted as opposed to something that is solid and well grounded.
It doesn't take a genius to note, that lawyers like to stay busy, as well as they have a necessity to make money, not only to pay for their higher education, but to establish themselves in society. Consequently, lawyers have more than a vested interest in testing law, trying law, creating new laws, or overturning old laws, in order to create work for themselves and others, along with the possibility of providing tranquility and an improvement of the general welfare.
While eventually market forces will even out the most appropriate amount of lawyers needed in the United States, having highly intelligent people that are motivated more by what is in it for them, while not considering the long term consequences of their actions or the fairness thereof will have a noxious effect upon the law in general, because when bad law muscles out good law, or complex or convoluted law overtakes straightforward and honest law, the end result will be very bad for Americans and for society in general.
There are too many misguided opportunistic and parasitic lawyers in America, breeding contempt for the law, which impugns upon the reputation of the good lawyers that are necessary for good law.