ABA survey finds there are 1.3 million lawyers in the United States

There are more than 1.3 million lawyers in the United States, according to the 2022 ABA National Lawyer Population Survey; the number has barely changed over the past decade.

Among the survey’s findings:

• During the past decade, the number of lawyers nationwide rose 6.6 percent — from 1,245,205 in 2012 to 1,327,010 in 2022.

The profession grew from 114,000 lawyers in 1990 to just over one million in 2000. That’s nearly a nine-fold increase over the century. The number of lawyers exploded in the 1970s when it ballooned from 326,000 lawyers in 1970 to 574,000 in 1980.

• One in four lawyers live in jNew York (187,2467 lawyers) and California (170,306 lawyers). Combined, they have 27 percent of US lawyers. 

North Dakota is the state with the fewest lawyers — 1,685. Ten states lost lawyers over the past decade, led by Alabama (down 15 percent), Alaska (down 12 percent) and Ohio (down 8 percent).

• More than one third of all lawyers are women.. Ten years ago, 33 percent of all lawyers were female. Today, it is 38 percent.

• The survey found that 5.5 percent of all lawyers are Asian American. The U.S. population is 5.9 percent Asian.

The survey found 5.8 percent of all lawyers are Hispanic. The U.S. population is 18.5 percent Hispanic.

The percentage of Black lawyers is nearly unchanged over the past decade. In 2012, the survey found 4.7 percent of all lawyers were Black. Today, the number is 4.5 percent.

One-half of one percent of all lawyers are Native American — nearly unchanged from a decade earlier. 

The survey found 1.2 percent of lawyers were of mixed race in 2016. Today, that number has more than doubled to 2.7 percent of all lawyers.

The overwhelming majority of lawyers are still white: 81 percent according to the survey. Non-Hispanic whites are 60 percent of the national population.