Introduction

As COVID-19 vaccines have proved highly effective and the worst of the pandemic has eased for most Americans, the country is working to return to normal. But what is the new “normal” for lawyers? And how did COVID-19 affect the legal profession?

That was the subject of the Practice Forward survey of ABA members in September and October 2020, and a follow-up survey of senior lawyers in March 2021. Results are presented in the first chapter of this report.

The 2021 ABA Profile of the Legal Profession is a snapshot of the legal profession in July 2021. It includes numbers and trends in 11 subject areas, including demographics, law schools, the judiciary, technology and, of course, the pandemic.

Chapters

COVID-19

How It Affected Lawyers

Lawyer Retirement

Stress on Senior Lawyers

Senior Lawyers-Technology, Volunteering and Social Justice

Fears of Big-Firm Lawyers

Solo Practitioners

 

Demographics

Growth of the Profession

Lawyers by State

Lawyers by Gender

Lawyers by Race and Ethnicity

Diversity in U.S. Law Firms

LGBT Lawyers

Lawyers with Disabilities

Age

Legal Demand in Metro Areas

Law Firm Leadership, Promotion and Attrition

Where Lawyers Work by Race and Ethnicity

 

Legal Deserts Index  (mobile version)

Lawyer Density in the 50 States

Lawyer Maps for Every State and County

 

Wages

Wage Trends over 20 years

Average Lawyer Wages by Metropolitan Area

Law Firm Associates

Public Service Lawyers

 

Legal Education

Law School Applicants and Enrollees

Why Law School?

Law School Demographics

Employment After Graduation

Bar Passage Rates

Law School Debt

 

Judges

Diversity on the Federal Bench

New Federal Appointments

Diversity in State Supreme Courts

 

Pro Bono

Hours Worked

Type of Help

Top States

ABA Free Legal Answers

Law Students

 

Women in the Legal Profession

Demographics

Women in Law Firms

Women in Law Schools

Walking Out the Door

 

Legal Technology

Security

Online Research

Social Media

Hardware and Software

 

Lawyer Well-Being

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Women and Men

Law Students

Life and Practice

Judges

 

Lawyer Discipline

Public Discipline and Disbarment

Public Discipline by State

 

A detailed Appendix is available in the .pdf download.

Acknowledgments

This third annual Profile report was produced by the ABA Media Relations and Strategic Communications Division. Our goal is to provide authoritative data for lawyers, academics, journalists and the public. Statistics are from reliable sources within the ABA, the federal government and nonprofit groups.

Population statistics are from the U.S. Census Bureau and inflation figures are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator.