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Lawyers – Employment Overview

Lawyers – Employment Overview

For those considering a career in law, understanding the employment situation for attorneys as it currently stands in the United States is important. Abraham Lincoln University, an online distance learning law school offering a flagship J.D. program online, brings to you the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment overview for the legal profession.

Employment for Lawyers

The last major, comprehensive studies by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the legal profession took into account the statistics in 2008. While things may have changed slightly since then, these numbers are the most accurate and comprehensive to date, as well as the most recent.

As of the study, lawyers held around 759,200 jobs in 2008, with 26% self-employed, practicing either as partners in law firms (as partners, they are considered self-employed) or in solo practices.

Salaried lawyers were spread out between government positions, law firms, and corporate work, as well as with non-profit organizations. The majority of government-employed lawyers were employed at the local level.

Lawyers employed by the Federal Government were highly concentrated in the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and Defense, with smaller numbers in other government departments.

Salaried lawyers working outside of the government and law firms were generally employed as house counsel in the following areas:

  • Public utilities
  • Banks
  • Insurance companies
  • Real-estate agencies
  • Manufacturing firms
  • Other business firms

A small number of attorneys not listed in these numbers are primarily employed as professors at law schools or other post-secondary educational institutions.


Employment options for the legal profession are something that aspiring law students should take into account. For more information about the education necessary to becoming a lawyer at Abraham Lincoln University, call our Admissions department at (866) 558-0999.


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