ABA Profile of the Legal Profession -header
Age 2021: Lawyers Compared With All U.S. Workers
Age 2021: Lawyers Compared With All U.S. Workers



Median Age of Lawyers: 2003 - 2021
Median Age of Lawyers: 2003 - 2021

Legal Demand in Metro Areas

The demand for lawyers is high in Washington, D.C., and New York City. But did you know the demand is also high in Tallahassee and Miami, Florida, and Santa Fe, New Mexico? Those are the five metropolitan areas with the highest demand for legal services in the United States in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The bureau measures employment and wages for more than 800 occupations in more than 380 metropolitan areas. One thing the bureau measures is demand for each occupation in each metro area. It’s called the “location quotient” – a single number that shows demand for an occupation in one area compared to the nation as a whole.*


For 2021 – as in all previous years – the Washington, D.C., area had the highest demand for lawyers of all metro areas. In fact, the location quotient for lawyers in the D.C. area was 3.12 – three times the national average. The demand for lawyers in the New York City area was 2.03 – double the national average.


Surprisingly, most of the other top 10 metro areas for lawyer demand in 2021 were not huge cities, but many were state capitals. They were, in order: Tallahassee (2.51), Miami (2.09), Santa Fe (1.95), Trenton, New Jersey (1.85), Charleston, West Virginia (1.85), Denver (1.60), Philadelphia (1.54) and San Francisco (1.53).


Many other state capitals have high demand for lawyers. For example, Albany, New York; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Montgomery, Alabama; Hartford, Connecticut; and Sacramento, California; are all in the top 20 metro areas nationally for lawyer demand.


But not all state capitals have high location quotients for lawyers. Twelve state capitals are actually below the national average for lawyer demand, including such large cities as Phoenix, Arizona; Honolulu, Hawaii; Columbus, Ohio; and Nashville, Tennessee.



*The location quotient represents the ratio of an occupation’s share of employment in a given area to that occupation’s share of employment in the U.S. as a whole. For example, an occupation that makes up 10% of employment in a metro area compared with 2% of U.S. employment would have a location quotient of 5 for that area.
Metropolitan Areas with the HIGHEST Demand for Lawyers
(Location Quotient)*
3.12 Washingon, DC
2.51 Tallahassee, FL
2.09 Miami, FL
2.03 New York, NY
1.95 Santa Fe, NM
1.85 Trenton, NJ
1.85 Charleston, WV
1.60 Denver, CO
1.54 Philadelphia, PA
1.53 San Francisco, CA
Metropolitan Areas with the HIGHEST Demand for Lawyers
(Location Quotient)*
0.26 Hickory, NC
0.26 Abilene, TX
0.26 Lebanon, PA
0.25 Lima, OH
0.23 Leominster, MA
0.23 Niles, MI
0.23 Sheboygan, WI
0.20 Hot Springs, AR
0.16 Elkhart, IN
0.16 Morristown, TN