There are currently an estimated 792,500 lawyers in the United States. The lawyer job market is expected to grow by 8.2% between 2016 and 2026.
How employable are lawyers?
CareerExplorer rates lawyers with a C employability rating, meaning this career should provide moderate employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 67,200 lawyers. That number is based on 65,000 additional lawyers, and the retirement of 2,200 existing lawyers.
Are lawyers in demand?
In December 2015 the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that, ‘Competition for jobs should continue to be strong because more students are graduating from law school each year than there are jobs available.’ The growth in population and general business activity is creating more legal transactions and generating increased need for legal services in a wide range of areas including health care, environmental issues, intellectual property, mediation, and antitrust. Countering this demand, however, is the capacity of large accounting firms and paralegals to perform some of the same functions as lawyers. As a result, lawyers are increasingly finding work in less traditional roles for which legal expertise is valuable, though not typically required. These roles include managerial, business, and administrative positions with banks; insurance and real estate companies; and government agencies. The majority of these opportunities are with larger firms in urban areas where corporations tend to centralize their operations. The number of self-employed lawyers is expected to grow slowly, due to both competition from established firms and the costs associated with sustaining an independent legal practice. Lawyers wishing to work independently should look to the less competitive legal markets of smaller towns and suburban areas. Some graduates may jumpstart their careers by joining legal staffing firms which place lawyers in short-term jobs. Willingness to relocate and take another state’s bar exam, as well as experience in specialty areas such as tax, patent, immigration, or copyright will improve law school graduates’ employment prospects.
What’s the supply of lawyers?
The lawyer industry is concentrated in California, New York, Florida
Lawyer job market by state
|State Name||Employed Lawyers|
|District of Columbia||32,090|
|Virgin Islands, U.S.||300|