October 2, 2014

The Legal Profession

Florida Law: Vital Statistics

Statewide, there is one attorney for every 299 residents.

| 2/13/2013
“The population of Florida is growing rapidly, and that makes it very attractive.”

—Graham Allen, Rogers Towers, Jacksonville

» Counties with the most lawyers per resident:

Leon (Tallahassee) - 1:89

Miami-Dade - 1:187

Broward - 1:213

Hillsborough (Tampa) - 1:214

Palm Beach - 1:216

Duval (Jacksonville) - 1:261

» County with the fewest lawyers per resident:

Lafayette - 1:8,870
(Total number of lawyers in the county: 1)

Source: Florida Bar

Gender and the Law

» Slightly over one-quarter (26%) of male attorneys are either managing partners or partner/shareholders, compared to 12% of female attorneys who are the same.

» Just over one-fifth (21%) of female attorneys are employed in government (local, state or federal) practice positions, compared to 10% of male attorneys.

“I’m beyond swamped. I turn work away.”

— Frank Aloia, Aloia, Roland & Lubell, Fort Myers

Firm Size

» 58% of Bar members in Florida work in firms that have fewer than five practictioners.

» More than two-thirds work in firms with fewer than 10 attorneys, while 21% work in firms having more than 20 attorneys. A higher percentage of younger attorneys are employed in firms or legal offices with 20 or more attorneys. A higher percentage of attorneys over age 50 are either sole practitioners or are employed in firms or legal offices with just one  attorney.

Attitudes

» The legal profession’s five biggest challenges, according to Florida attorneys:

Too many attorneys — 33%

Difficult economic times — 32%

Lack of ethics — 32%

Court overload — 28%

Lack of appropriate judicial system funding — 26%

Too Many?

» 18% of attorneys believe computer technology and the internet will have the greatest impact on the profession over the next five years. Aside from judges, attorneys in every category view oversaturation as the issue with the greatest impact.

The Practice

» Over two-thirds (70%) of all respondents report that the legal profession has become less desirable as a career over the past few years. Few respondents (4%) believe that it has become more desirable over that time  period.

» 28% of law firms reported adjusting their billing rates in 2011 as a result of the economy — 22% delayed salary increases.

» 13% of attorneys report using Facebook in their professional lives; 52% in their personal lives. Only 3% report using Twitter professionally; 7%  personally.

» 55% of attorneys reported earning less than $100,000 in 2011.

» The median before-tax income for a managing partner in 2011 was $222,500. Government attorneys and associates report earning the lowest incomes, with state government attorneys reporting a median income of $56,000 — a $4,000 decline from  2005.

2011 Florida Bar Membership Survey

Tags: Politics & Law, Government/Politics & Law, The Legal Profession

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