Based on data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States added approximately 1,000 jobs to the legal sector in September—up approximately 3,000 from September of 2011. Although a relatively small number overall, this addition is part of a trend of growing employment in the legal sector, which is comforting news for many recent law school graduates.

Interested persons can break down the general employment data a number of different ways, and see the employment numbers of the past 10 years from the perspective of gender, age, education level, or class of worker (among others). You can also see a very specific list of statistics on legal employment as of May 2011 that includes data on average hourly wages, division of legal occupations, and geographic profiles.

In all, 5,900 more people are employed in the legal sector than in September of 2011, and the industry has gained 2,900 jobs since the beginning of 2012. This rise in employment sees the level of legal sector employment at its highest level since July of 2009 ,and just 50,000 shy of its level prior to the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2008.

(photo: Shutterstock: 105781796)


  1. Sam Glover Sam Glover says:

    According to the LA TImes, 45,000 people graduate from law school every year (or did, as of 2010, anyway). I’d say we’ve still got a pretty major problem.

  2. I agree, that isn’t a huge percentage.

  3. Dave S says:

    An interesting stat would be how many law school graduates 2 years post-graduation are still in non-legal industry jobs.

    Also, even though 45,000 new graduates are added each year, there are also people retiring, etc so that’s not a net addition figure. But, agreed, there are not enough jobs to support the rate of graduates and the rate of students all these law schools are admitting.

    • Graham Martin says:

      I, too, am interested in what the retirement rate is for attorneys and what that means for how many attorneys are being hired versus how many new jobs are being created. There is no doubt still a major issue, but there are some important facts to which we do not have access (at least, not from the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

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