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Tiny fraction of US lawyers work as sole practitioners

06 Aug 2019 / international Print

Tiny fraction of US lawyers work as sole practitioners

An American Bar Association profile of the US legal profession shows that there are 1.3 million lawyers in the United States.

One in four of that number are in just two states – New York and California.

On August 10, the ABA will release the first ABA Profile of the Legal Profession – a 100-page compendium of statistics and trends in the profession, including sections on demographics, wages, law schools and law students, federal judges, pro-bono work, women in the profession, legal technology, lawyer well-being and lawyer discipline.

“This report is an important reference for anyone who wants to understand where the legal profession came from and where it stands today,” ABA President Bob Carlson said.

Law school graduates

The report reveals that nearly half of all law school graduates take jobs at law firms, but 12% go to work for the government and only 1% start a solo practice.


A total of one out of three law school deans are now women. In 2000, that figures stood at one in 10.

The average US lawyer provides 37 hours a year of volunteer services to low-income clients who cannot afford a lawyer, the report shows.

And one in four lawyers say their law firm has experienced a computer security breach, but only one in three law firms has cyber liability insurance.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland