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ABA Profile of the Profession 2019 Survey

“The growth of the legal industry has slowed in recent years, according to the 2019 ABA National Lawyer Population Survey, a tally of lawyers by every state bar association and licensing agency.In the past year, from 2018 to 2019, the number of active lawyers grew 0.7%. It was the third time in the past four years that annual growth was less than 1%, a marked slowdown from earlier in this century. Despite this slowdown, the legal profession has grown nearly twice as fast as the nation’s population since 2010. As of Jan. 1, 2019, there were 1,352,027 active lawyers in the United States. That’s up 12.4% since 2010, when there were 1,203,097 lawyers. Over the same period, the population of the United States grew 6.3%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Since 2000, the number of lawyers nationwide has grown an average of 1.7% each year – from 1,022,462 in 2000 to 1,352,027 in 2019, a 32% increase. In the entire 20th century, the number of lawyers grew 793% – from 114,460 to just over 1 million. 12.4% – Increase in the number of lawyers from 2010 to 2019.• 1970s – Decade when the number of lawyers grew fastest, by 76%. The largest increase in the number of lawyers occurred in the 1970s, a decade when the number of lawyers jumped 76% – from 326,000 in 1970 to 574,000 in 1980.For much of the 20th century, the industry’s growth was much slower. It took 50 years for the number of lawyers to nearly double – from 114,000 in 1900 to 221,000 in 1950. It took less than 30 years for that number to double again – from 221,000 in 1950 to 464,000 in 1978…”

See also Key Resources referenced in this report.

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