The legal profession is overwhelmingly white. According to a report by the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP) :
Aggregate minority representation among U.S. lawyers stood at 14.5% in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (see Table 1). This represents a drop from a high of 15.7% in 2014; however, these data appear somewhat noisy, with significant year-to-year fluctuations. Based on three-year (unweighted) averages, aggregate minority representation among lawyers has increased from 10.5% in 2003-05 to 14.8% in 2013-15 (see Table 1).
Progress for different groups varies. African American representation among lawyers has increased very little over the past ten years, from an average of 4.3% in 2003-05 to an average of 4.8% in 2013-2015 (see Table 1). During the same period, Hispanic representation among lawyers increased from an average of 3.6% to an average of 5.3%, and Asian American representation among lawyers increased from an average of 2.6% to an average of 4.8% (see Table 1). Thus, while African Americans historically have been the best-represented minority group among lawyers, this pattern has changed. In 2015, African American representation among lawyers was 4.6%, compared to 5.1% for Hispanics and 4.8% for Asian Americans (see Table 1).
Aggregate minority representation among lawyers is significantly lower than minority representation in most other management and professional jobs. In 2015, minority representation among lawyers was 14.5%, compared to 24.5% among financial managers, 28.2% among accountants and auditors, 44.2% among software developers, 31.2% among physicians and surgeons, and 27.3% within the professional labor force as a whole (see Table 3). Moreover, “legal occupations” collectively have the lowest level of minority representation of any subcategory of “management, professional, and related occupations,” including those not reported here. Although these figures, too, can be noisy, this unhappy comparison is consistent with patterns from prior years.