ABA does a deep five into the legal world

If you love data — and really, who doesn’t love data — and if you’re a lawyer — and really, who’s not one — then you’re in for a treat with the recently released American Bar Association (ABA) report called “ABA Profile of the Legal Profession.”

Here’s how the ABA describes it: “The report is a 100-page compendium of statistics and trends, which includes sections on demographics, wages, law schools and law students, federal judges, pro bono work, women in the profession, legal technology, lawyer well-being and lawyer discipline.”

In short, it’s must-read if you ever picked up a Grisham novel.

“This report is an important reference for anyone who wants to understand where the legal profession came from and where it stands today,” ABA President Bob Carlson said.

He notes the vast changes that have come in a relatively brief time: “ In 1979, when I became a lawyer, there were about 500,000 lawyers in the United States, and only 1 in 12 were women. Today, there are more than 1.3 million lawyers – and more than a third of them are women.”

There are a ton of cool facts inside.

Such as: Go Utah. Even though it’s the nation’s 30th largest state, it saw the second highest growth in the number of lawyers since 2009. It rose by 27%. Only Florida beat it, at 28%.

What about money? Glad you asked. The average lawyer salary today is $144,230. Lawyers should have gone to med school, tho. The average salary for physicians and surgeons is $210,000.

Feel badly for the guy writing this article … Writers and editors only make half, an average of $71,920.

And feel ever more badly for lawyers working in Hickory, N.C. They average the lowest income of lawyers in the continental U.S., at $63, 360.

It’s remain a mostly white male profession. Sixty-four percent are male. (However, more women are going to law school then men currently.) When it comes to all lawyers — male and female — 85% are white. Ten years ago, that number was 88%

Just 5% are African-American.

And lawyers still keep on drinking too much: 21% qualify as problem drinkers. That’s more than triple the rate for the general population.

Really, we just barely scratched the surface on the report. Here’s a link to it.

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