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Number of Scottish solicitors reaches all-time high

13 November 2014 | tagged News release

The Scottish legal profession continues to grow as the number of practising solicitors reaches an all-time high of 11,000.

The latest membership statistics from the Law Society present a picture of an increasingly youthful profession with 56% of solicitors now under the age of 45.

Alistair Morris, President of the Law Society said “I am very pleased that the legal profession in Scotland is continuing to grow and that so many young people see their future in law. The latest statistics are a good indicator of the improving health of the profession and that despite the difficulties experienced by many as a result of the downturn, we are making progress as the economy recovers.

“Solicitors play a crucial role in our society and our economy, helping thousands of people and businesses with a wide spectrum of legal issues, from providing advice on buying or selling your home and assistance with writing a will that ensures loved ones are protected, to representing people in court and advising clients involved in multi-million pound contracts for global companies.”

The data shows that increasing numbers of women are entering the profession, with 69% of all female solicitors currently under 45 years old compared to 43% of all male solicitors. The overall gender split shows that 49% of the profession are women and 51% are men, but this shifts when you look at the split for the under-45s, 61% women and 39% men.

There are around 750 organisations that aren’t law firms employing Scottish solicitors, with approximately 250 of those in England and Wales and almost 100 organisations elsewhere in the world.

Over a quarter of the profession, at 28%, now work in house in both the private and public sectors, showing the value organisations place on having legal counsel as part of their in-house team.  6% of the profession work as sole-practioners and 33% are employed at big firms, a firm with 10 or more partners.

There are now around 20 practising solicitors per 10,000 Scottish citizens or 1 solicitor in every 500 Scots. The average age of entry to profession is 26, and 19% have qualified in the past 5 years.


ENDS                                                                                                     13 NOVEMBER 2014

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact Sarah Sutton on 0131 476 8170. Email:


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