This report explored the diversity, workplace settings, leadership roles, and workplace satisfaction of California’s attorney population across multiple demographic groups and employment sectors.
- Despite significant growth in the proportion of attorneys who are women and people of color over the past 30 years, California’s attorney population does not reflect the state’s diversity, with Latinos being particularly underrepresented.
- Women of color now comprise the largest group of newly admitted attorneys.
- Most (80 percent) of California attorneys work in the private sector. Increasing the diversity of this sector alone will have a transformative impact on the profession.
- Women are overrepresented in government and nonprofit sectors, comprising 55 percent and 67 percent respectively. Attorney salaries are among the lowest in these sectors.
- Women of color are underrepresented in leadership positions in all employment settings.
- Nonbinary attorneys consistently report the lowest levels of satisfaction with workplace experiences.
- Compensation and benefits are ranked as the top area of desired improvement by all attorneys and demographic groups analyzed.
- Women, nonbinary, attorneys of color, LGBTQIA+ attorneys, attorneys with disabilities, veterans, and attorneys working in nonprofit settings rank professional development resources, and support as the second-highest area of the workplace that would need to increase for their satisfaction to increase.
The State Bar is committed to ensuring this research will translate into results. To that end, employers and attorneys are encouraged to take the steps outlined in the “Calls to Action” section that follows. These prompts and recommendations were derived from a review of diversity and inclusion best practices the State Bar has engaged in throughout the development of the attorney census and this report.
Have questions about the data in this report? Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.