Diversity of 2022 California Licensed Attorneys
In 2022, there were approximately 195,000 active, licensed attorneys in California. The analyses below show that the state’s active attorney population does not reflect the state’s diversity.1
1Due to rounding, numbers presented throughout this report may not add up precisely to subtotals and totals.
White people comprise 39 percent of the state’s adult population yet are 66 percent of California’s active licensed attorneys.
Hispanics/Latinos comprise 36 percent of the state’s population but only 6 percent of all California’s licensed attorneys. Asian attorneys comprise 14 percent of all attorneys and 16 percent of the state’s population. Attorneys who identify as multiracial comprise 8 percent of all attorneys; this is four times more than the share of adults statewide who identify as multiracial. Black people are 6 percent of the adult population in California and 3 percent of all attorneys.
Data on California’s adult population in this figure represents the year 2020 and was drawn from the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count Data Center.
People of color constitute 61 percent of the state’s adult population yet just over one-third (34 percent) of California’s attorneys.
Data source for California’s adult population is the same as in figure 1.
Women are over half of California’s adult population, but just 44 percent of California attorneys. One percent of the attorney population identifies as nonbinary.
Data on California’s adult population in this figure represents the year 2020 and was drawn from the American Community Survey, United States Census. Data on California’s adult population that identifies as nonbinary is unavailable.
Less than 1 percent of the attorney population identifies as transgender, much like recent estimates of the transgender adult population in California.
Data on California’s adult population drawn from How Many Adults and Youth Identify as Transgender in the United States. Williams Institute, University of California, Los Angeles Law School. This report uses multiple years of data (2017–2020) to generate the estimate of California adults who identify as transgender.
White men comprise the largest group of California attorneys. The next largest group is white women (26%), followed by women of color (18%), and men of color (16%).
Note: Comparable statewide data is unavailable.
The share of attorneys identifying as LGBTQIA+ is the same as California’s statewide LGBTQIA+ adult population.
Data on California’s adult population was drawn from California’s LGBT Population in the United States, Public Policy Institute of California, and reflects estimates averaged across surveys administered in 2021 and 2021.
Attorneys with disabilities comprise just 6 percent of the profession.
More than one in five Californians report having at least one form of disability that limits activities and self-care. These include mobility issues, cognitive impairments, and vision and hearing impairments. In contrast, only 6 percent of California attorneys reported living with a disability in 2022.
Data on California’s adult population reflects 2020 and was drawn from Adults Living with Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Veterans’ presence in the attorney population is comparable to the state population.
Data on California’s adult population reflects 2020 and is drawn from the American Community Survey, United States Census.
Attorney Diversity Across California Counties
Attorney diversity varies across California’s counties. Select the Dig Deeper Box to explore further.
Demographic Changes Since 2019
There has been very little change in attorney demographics over the last four years. Click the Dig Deeper box to explore year-over-year data since 2019, when the State Bar of California first issued the attorney census.
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