Annual statistics report 2021

Our annual statistics report provides a comprehensive picture of how the size and structure of the solicitors’ profession has evolved over time. Learn about our 2021 findings.

Part one of the report looks at qualified solicitors, the sectors and entities in which they work, and provides analysis of the diversity within the profession.

Part two covers the development and entry of new solicitors, including numbers pursuing law degrees, training contracts and being admitted to the profession through various routes.

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Key findings

  • The number of solicitors with practising certificates (PC holders) reached 153,282. This was an increase of 2% on the previous year
  • The number of women PC holders continued to grow three times faster than men, making up 53% of those practising in the profession
  • Representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds continued to grow, reaching 18% of those with known ethnicity
  • The proportion of solicitors working in-house grew to 25%, continuing at a steady average increase of 1% each year. (This is a likely underestimate, as some PC holders are not officially recorded as working in-house)
  • The number of students graduating with first degrees in law from universities in England and Wales in 2021 was the highest on record at 18,927. 81% of these graduates received a first- or upper second-class degree
  • Trainee registrations dropped by 2% to 5,495 – the lowest in the past five years
  • The number of those admitted to the roll was highest on record over the past decade, reaching 6,981

How this report can help you

As a business, you can use the findings from the report to inform your workplace planning, recruitment strategies and diversity initiatives with a longer-term view.

As an individual, you can use the report to inform your career choices and planning by staying up to date with trends within the legal profession.

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