Which states had the greatest growth in lawyer population?
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Is Texas’ 28 percent growth in lawyer population over the last decade all that unusual?
Stories in the Wall Street Journal Law Blog and the Dallas Morning News reported on the number, which represents the growth in the active lawyer population from 2004 to 2014. That compares to a 20 percent increase in the state’s general population over the same time period.
But ABA figures (PDF) show the state’s growth in lawyer population is outpaced by 10 other states. Overall, lawyer population grew 17.7 percent in the last decade.
The ABA chart generally measures the population of both active and resident lawyers as of Dec. 31, 2014. It shows the 10-year growth in Texas lawyer population was 24.6 percent, below that of Florida (53.3 percent), Utah (46.1 percent), North Carolina (33.7 percent), Arizona (30.6 percent), North Dakota (27.9 percent), Tennessee (27.8 percent), Wyoming (27.6 percent), Pennsylvania (27.4 percent, though a shift in the reporting agency yielded more accurate numbers), Georgia (25.7 percent), and Delaware (25.4 percent).
In some states, the percentage growth appears large, but the actual number of lawyers in the state is small. There were 2,921 lawyers in Delaware at the close of 2014; 1,665 lawyers in North Dakota; 8,413 in Utah; and 1,778 in Wyoming.
Statistics at the Law School Tuition Bubble look at the number of active and resident lawyers at the beginning of 2014, compared to the state’s population. Topping the list is Washington, D.C., which has 788.1 lawyers per 10,000 residents, followed by New York (86 per 10,000) and Massachusetts (65.6 per 10,000).