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
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
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
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
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.