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Legal services industry in the U.S. - statistics & facts

Many of the largest law firms globally are headquartered in the United States - including Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis, and Baker McKenzie. The top 100 law firms in the United States generated revenues of more than 110 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. In 2021, Kirkland & Ellis was the leading law firm worldwide in terms of gross revenue. The firm was first founded in Chicago by Stuart G. Shepard and Robert R. McCormick in 1909. According to its latest reports, Kirkland & Ellis employs more than 2,700 lawyers across the world.

In 2021, almost 1.2 million people were employed in legal occupations in the U.S.. This number was set to rise to 1.38 million by 2022. The largest share of those working in legal occupations was comprised of lawyers. Lawyers also earned the most in this industry, with a mean annual wage of nearly 149,000 U.S. dollars. Close to 51 percent of 2021 law graduates had taken up employment with law firms by April 2022 and nearly 76 percent were working in occupations which required the passage of the bar exam.

Women are still underrepresented in the legal professionn: as of 2021, only 41.7 percent of lawyers in the U.S. were women. In the 100 best law firms for women, the gender distribution of employees appears to be much more even in the general ranks. However, partners were still predominantly male. In 2020, female lawyers earned 91 percent of the salaries of their male counterparts. The industry wage gap is potentially decreasing however, as 2015 saw the smallest imbalance of the last ten years. The largest pay disparity in that time frame was experienced in 2006, when female lawyers earned only 70.5 percent of a male lawyers' salary.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 30 most important statistics relating to "Legal services industry in the U.S.".


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