Legal Profession


ABA Profile of the Legal Profession 2021

Document Type

Issue/Research Brief/Blog

Publication Date



lawyer demographics, student loan debt, law school diversity


As COVID-19 vaccines have proved highly effective and the worst of the pandemic has eased for most Americans, the country is working to return to normal. But what is the new “normal” for lawyers? And how did COVID-19 affect the legal profession?

That was the subject of the Practice Forward survey of ABA members in September and October 2020, and a follow-up survey of senior lawyers in March 2021. Results are presented in the first chapter of this report.

The 2021 ABA Profile of the Legal Profession is a snapshot of the legal profession in July 2021. It includes numbers and trends in 11 subject areas, including demographics, law schools, the judiciary, technology and, of course, the pandemic.

This third annual Profile report was produced by the ABA Media Relations and Strategic Communications Division. Our goal is to provide authoritative data for lawyers, academics, journalists and the public. Statistics are from reliable sources within the ABA, the federal government and nonprofit groups.