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Typical New Zealand lawyer a 38-year-old Aucklander

MEDIA RELEASE – For immediate use, 27 February 2014

Typical New Zealand lawyer a 38-year-old Aucklander

The typical New Zealand lawyer is aged 38, works in Auckland in a law firm with one to three partners or directors, is a non-smoker and is likely to retire at the age of 68.

In its annual Snapshot of the Profession, the New Zealand Law Society also says the “typical” lawyer is male and has the first name John.

“If the number of women in the legal profession continues to grow at the current rate, our typical lawyer will change sex in 2019,” the Snapshot says.

Published annually in the Law Society’s LawTalk magazine, the Snapshot provides a range of information on New Zealand lawyers and judges.

It shows that at 1 February 2014 there were 12,224 lawyers who hold a current practising certificate. Of these, 43% were located in the Auckland urban area and a further 19% in Wellington city. Just over 500 lawyers holding a New Zealand practising certificate were based overseas.

Wellington had the highest proportion of lawyers, with one for every 84 inhabitants. This was well ahead of the next most-lawyered locations, Queenstown (one per 185) and Warkworth (one per 234).

The lowest proportion of lawyers to inhabitants was in Kawerau (one lawyer per 3,126 people), followed by Huntly (one per 2,292) and Tokoroa (one per 1,735).

Overall, New Zealand has one lawyer for every 362 people.

The Law Society says the most noticeable trend over the past two decades has been the rise in the proportion of women who are admitted to the legal profession.

While women still comprise only 46% of all lawyers, they make up 62% of lawyers admitted to the profession annually.

The Snapshot will be published tomorrow in LawTalk. A copy of the Snapshot is available here:


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