An Increase in Lawyers.
The legal profession under-went major changes in the 1970s. The number of lawyers almost doubled between 1970 and 1980, from 278,000 to 525,000. The number of lawyers relative to the population also increased. In 1970 the United States had one lawyer for every 572 people. In 1980 there was one lawyer for every 418 people, a bigger change than in any other ten-year period. The biggest jump in enrollment in law schools and admission to the bar occurred between 1970 and 1972.
Expansion of Firms.
Long-term changes in the practice continued. The percentage of lawyers who practiced by themselves declined from 36.6 percent to 33.2 percent. Overall, the number of lawyers who worked in private law firms declined from 72.7 percent of all lawyers to 68.3 percent. The number of associates, or beginning lawyers, in law firms increased. Overall government employment stayed about the same, and there...
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