“In 1988, we had approximately 55,000 law firms (sic) producing 2% of our country’s gross domestic product. Twenty years on we had approximately 130,000 lawyers producing that same 2%.” This confusing quote comes from Law Bus. Rev., Winter 2009 at 54 with data from the United Kingdom, where I assume the 55,000 figure refers to lawyers, not law firms.
The stability of revenue share argues against a dramatic increase in legal complexity over the two decades because the share of national wealth produced by lawyers stayed about the same relative to other sectors (See my post of March 13, 2007: complexity with 4 references; and Dec. 27, 2008: complexity of legal practice with 20 references.).
If the legal system had convoluted to become much more complicated or demanding, more societal resources would have had to flow to it.