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Help wanted: Legal

After two terms with an MBA at the helm, the nation is likely to tap a lawyer for its next president. So says USA Today, The Nation’s Newspaper.

Of course, 25 of the 43 U.S. presidents so far HAVE been lawyers, but the American Bar Association says the percentage fell from 76 percent through the 19th century to just 39 percent in the 20th.

And in the current millennium, lawyers are 0 for 1, assuming you count George W. Bush as the only 21st century president.

But that could change in November ’08, since the three top contenders in each party are all attorneys. And yes, that includes newly announced Republican candidate Fred Thompson, who not only was a lawyer but played one on TV.

If that means Thompson (Vanderbilt ’67) counts twice, it would balance out fellow Republican Mitt Romney (Harvard ’75), who tends to play down his law degree and play up the MBA he got the same year.

Rounding out USA Today’s top six are Republican Rudy Giuliani (NYU ’68) and Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton (Yale ’73), John Edwards (UNC Chapel Hill ’77) and Barack Obama (Harvard ’91).

All three Dems have spouses who are also lawyers, but Obama may be the first candidate to feature a law professor in his TV ads.

If you’re a lawyer looking for a job, it can’t hurt to have Laurence H. Tribe on your list of references.

-BARBARA GRZINCIC, Managing Editor, Law