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Law by the numbers: New ABA Profile of the Legal Profession

Did you know there are 1.3 million lawyers in the United States – and 1 in 4 are in just two states (New York and California)?

Did you know nearly half of all law school graduates take jobs at law firms, but 12% go to work for the government and 1% start a solo practice?

These numbers – and many more – are in the new ABA Profile of the Legal Profession, released Aug. 10 at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The report is a 100-page compendium of statistics and trends, which includes 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.

The report was compiled by the ABA Media Relations & Strategic Communications Division using data from a variety of ABA sections, divisions, committees and commissions, as well as from the federal government and nonprofit groups that work closely with the legal profession. It will be updated annually.

Download a copy of the ABA Profile of the Legal Profession at

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