According to new statistics posted on the American Bar Association website, the number of lawyers in Wisconsin grew from 13,813 in 2003 to 15,538 in 2013, an increase of 12%. For the country as a whole, the number of lawyers increased from 1.06 million in 2003 to 1.27 million a decade later, an increase of 20%.
The only year in which the number of lawyers in Wisconsin actually decreased was from 2007 to 2008, when the total fell by 113 lawyers, from 14,561 to 14,448.
The states with the largest percentage growth in the number of lawyers over the past ten years are:
In two states, the number of lawyers has actually declined since 2003: the Rhode Island total has dropped by 19% (from 5,135 to 4,173), while that for Massachusetts has fallen by 8%. Massachusetts actually hit its decade low total in 2007, while the bottom was reached in Rhode Island in 2009. In both states the total has increased in recent years.
The three states with the most slowly growing bars are Vermont +3%, Nebraska +4%, and Alaska +8%.
The largest total number of lawyers is in New York (166,317), followed by California (163,163), Texas (82,607), and Illinois (62,496). The smallest number is in North Dakota (1,560), followed by Wyoming (1,681), and South Dakota (1,905).