Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

NC Bar Population Exploded in Last 10 Years

handshakeIf you think you’ve been seeing more unfamiliar faces at bar meetings and calendar calls, it’s not your imagination.

North Carolina’s lawyer population has skyrocketed.

In 2007, there were 18,339 lawyers in the state. In 2017, the number was 23,694 – an increase of 29.2 percent. That was the second-highest growth rate in the nation – trailing only Maryland, whose state bar nearly doubled during that period. The national growth rate from 2007 to 2017 was 16.8 percent.

In the past year alone, North Carolina’s bar population rose 1.6 percent.

But a look at lawyers per capita tells a different story. In that respect, North Carolina ranks near the bottom, with 23 attorneys per 10,000 residents statewide. That puts the state 47th in lawyer density, ahead of only Arizona, Idaho, South Dakota, North Dakota and South Carolina (Puerto Rico and District of Columbia were included in the rankings).

These figures come from the latest ABA National Lawyer Population Survey, which you can read here.

Top 20 State Lawyer Growth Rate (2007 to 2017)

  1. Maryland – 84.8 percent (20,999 lawyers in 2007 / 38,800 lawyers in 2017)
  2. North Carolina – 29.2 percent (18,339 / 23,694)
  3. Florida – 28.5 percent (59,912 / 77,008)
  4. North Dakota – 27.9 percent (1,328 / 1,698)
  5. Indiana – 26.1 percent (12,546 / 15,826)
  6. Texas – 26.1 percent (70,842 / 89,361)
  7. Tennessee – 24.2 percent (14,867 / 18,461)
  8. Nevada – 23.2 percent (5,909 / 7,281)
  9. South Carolina – 22.6 percent (8,411 / 10,318)
  10. Arkansas 22.3 percent (5,600 / 6,851)
  11. District of Columbia – 20.9 percent (45,231 / 54,692)
  12. Colorado – 20.6 percent (18,376 / 22,164)
  13. New York – 20.4 percent (147,096 / 177, 035)
  14. Delaware – 20.2 percent (2,478 / 2,978)
  15. Arizona – 19.7 percent (12,501 / 14,9760)
  16. Georgia – 19.7 percent (28,459 / 31,672)
  17. Minnesota – 18.9 percent (21,426 / 25,483)
  18. Puerto Rico – 17.7 percent (12,142 / 14,293)
  19. Utah – 17.5 percent (6,984 / 8,204)
  20. Wyoming – 17.5 percent (1,511 / 1,776)

Top 20 State Lawyers Per Capita (as of 2016)

  1. District of Columbia - 773.8 (lawyers per 10,000 residents)
  2. New York – 88.7
  3. Massachusetts – 63.5
  4. Connecticut – 60.2
  5. Illinois – 49.3
  6. New Jersey – 46.5
  7. Minnesota – 45.2
  8. California – 42.7
  9. Missouri – 40.9
  10. Louisiana – 40.8
  11. Maryland – 40.1
  12. Puerto Rico – 40.1
  13. Rhode Island – 39.9
  14. Colorado – 39.3
  15. Pennsylvania – 38.8
  16. Vermont – 37.2
  17. Florida – 36.7
  18. Michigan – 35.3
  19. Washington – 35.1
  20. Oklahoma – 34.2

 

Sources:

 

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. During the course of his 35- year career, he has been a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms succeed through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations (www.yourlawlife.com). Contact jay@yourlawlife.com or 919-619-2441 to learn how Jay can help your practice.

About the Author

Jay Reeves

jay.reeves@ymail.com | 919-619-2441

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Over the course of his 35-year career he was a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms put more mojo in their practice through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations.

Read More by Jay >

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