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Number of lawyers in the U.S. 2007-2019

Number of lawyers in the United States from 2007 to 2019 (in 1,000s)

by E. Mazareanu, last edited Jul 10, 2019
Number of lawyers in the U.S. 2007-2019

How many lawyers are in the U.S.?


The total number of lawyers in the United States has seen little increase in the last few years; in 2019, there were 1.35 million lawyers in the U.S. – virtually unchanged from the previous year, and not much above the 2015 figure of 1.3 million.


Lawyers in the U.S.

Unlike many other common law countries, the United States does not differentiate between lawyers who plead in court and those who do not. For example, in the United Kingdom the former are titled barristers and the latter solicitors. However, in the U.S., terms such as lawyer and attorney can refer to either profession.

Oversupply in the U.S. legal industry

Despite continuous growth of the U.S. legal services market since the great recession, there is an oversupply of lawyers relative to the number of jobs. An overproduction of law graduates is one cause of this oversupply; consequently the number of law graduates shrunk by around a quarter between 2013 and 2017. Increasing automation is another cause, with around half of law firms admitting to replacing human resources with technology in the last two years.
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Number of lawyers in the United States from 2007 to 2019 (in 1,000s)

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by E. Mazareanu, last edited Jul 10, 2019

How many lawyers are in the U.S.?


The total number of lawyers in the United States has seen little increase in the last few years; in 2019, there were 1.35 million lawyers in the U.S. – virtually unchanged from the previous year, and not much above the 2015 figure of 1.3 million.


Lawyers in the U.S.

Unlike many other common law countries, the United States does not differentiate between lawyers who plead in court and those who do not. For example, in the United Kingdom the former are titled barristers and the latter solicitors. However, in the U.S., terms such as lawyer and attorney can refer to either profession.

Oversupply in the U.S. legal industry

Despite continuous growth of the U.S. legal services market since the great recession, there is an oversupply of lawyers relative to the number of jobs. An overproduction of law graduates is one cause of this oversupply; consequently the number of law graduates shrunk by around a quarter between 2013 and 2017. Increasing automation is another cause, with around half of law firms admitting to replacing human resources with technology in the last two years.
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