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
California 79,980
New York 73,560
Florida 47,630
Texas 42,870
District of Columbia 32,090
Illinois 30,170
Pennsylvania 25,470
New Jersey 20,730
Georgia 18,160
Massachusetts 17,820
Virginia 16,330
Ohio 16,260
Michigan 15,100
Maryland 11,900
Colorado 11,450
Minnesota 11,180
North Carolina 10,830
Washington 10,540
Missouri 9,950
Arizona 9,500
Indiana 8,080
Tennessee 7,610
Wisconsin 7,540
Connecticut 7,070
Louisiana 6,820
Oklahoma 6,280
Oregon 6,260
South Carolina 6,080
Alabama 5,640
Kentucky 5,540
Nevada 5,150
Utah 4,990
Kansas 3,640
Iowa 3,470
Mississippi 3,190
Nebraska 2,950
New Mexico 2,900
Puerto Rico 2,790
Arkansas 2,730
West Virginia 2,440
Delaware 2,410
Hawaii 2,110
Idaho 1,980
Montana 1,980
Rhode Island 1,810
New Hampshire 1,750
Maine 1,710
Vermont 1,140
North Dakota 960
Alaska 940
South Dakota 870
Wyoming 820
Virgin Islands, U.S. 300
Guam 170