Is the legal profession showing its age?

The figure below suggests that a growing number of students are attending law school but not going on to become lawyers. This conclusion requires some explanation, which I will supply below. Alternative explanations are also welcome, as I’d like to find a plausible narrative that foreshadows a brighter future for the licensed bar.

The underlying data for the figure is culled from various editions of The Lawyer Statistical Report, which is periodically compiled by the American Bar Foundation (ABF). The underlying data come from Martindale-Hubbell, which is a comprehensive directory of the licensed bar. As of 2005, the sample was roughly 1 million lawyers who work in law firms, solo practice, in-house legal departments, government, and the judiciary.

IndustryBill Henderson