Tuesday, August 3, 2021
There are now more than 1.3 million attorneys in the country, though that figure dipped slightly in the past year—a decline the ABA attributed to Vermont starting to count only lawyers who reside in the state and not those who practice there. The ABA on Thursday released its annual Profile of the Legal Profession, with updated data on lawyer demographics broken down by gender, race, geography and age. While the ABA issues new figures each year, it compares that data to the previous decade to highlight trends and changes over time.
The percentage of women attorneys increased to 37% from 33% in 2011, according to the report, and racial diversity in the profession has also made slow but steady progress. Lawyers of color made up 11.2% of all attorneys in 2011, and now comprise 14.6%. But those gains were not seen across all minority groups.
The percentage of Black attorneys decreased slightly from 4.8% in 2011 to 4.7% this year—far lower than the more than 13% of Americans who are Black. The percentage of Native Americans also declined, from 1% in 2011 to less than half a percent this year.