Number of lawyers increases by more than half over the past decade

31/05/2007 15:00

In the period 1996–2006, the number of lawyers in the Netherlands increased by over 60 percent to more than 14 thousand. Employment for lawyers rose when the economy was booming, but also in times of economic decline. The number of cases brought before courts also rose sharply in recent years.

More female lawyers

Over the past ten years the annual increase averaged 550 lawyers. By the end of last year, there were eight lawyers in every 10 thousand residents, as against five a decade ago. The share of female lawyers rose notably from 30 percent in 1996 to 40 percent in 2006.

On the other hand, the number of graduated law students fell from 3.5 thousand in 1996 to 2.9 thousand in 2006. Consequently, a relatively higher number of graduated law students opted for a professional career as a lawyer.

Number of lawyers

Number of lawyers

Employment also grows in times of economic recession

Employment for lawyers increased annually the period 1996–2005, irrespective of the economic situation. In 2003, when the number of jobs in business services decreased by 3 percent across the board, the number of jobs in lawyers’ offices rose by 6 percent.

Legislation changes and implementation of new rules mean more jobs for lawyers. More bankruptcies and lay-offs in times of economic recession and more mergers and takeovers when the economy is thriving mean more employment for lawyers.

Number of jobs

Number of jobs

More court cases

Not only the number of lawyers and jobs increased. The number of court cases also increased from more than 756 thousand in 2000 to 1,158 thousand in 2005. The amount of civil proceedings rose dramatically.

Number of cases disposed

Number of cases disposed

Mathijs Jacobs and Nynke de Lange