Over 14,000 lawyers now hold practising certiﬁcates issued by the New Zealand Law Society. They range in age from 22 to over 90. While there is obviously a lot more than the numbers, the information which the Law Society collects in its regulatory role can provide some useful details on the makeup of the legal profession. Care has been taken not to disclose information which could identify individuals or ﬁrms and organisations providing legal services. Lawyer numbers continue to grow. Since our ﬁrst Snapshot in 2011, there has been an increase of 24% in all practising certiﬁcate holders, and 20% in New Zealand based lawyers. At the same time the population of New Zealand has increased by around 12%. At the moment there is one lawyer
in New Zealand for every 365 citizens. Back in 1999 it was one lawyer for every 470 citizens. Another marked trend which has been covered in some detail because it is probably the biggest change occurring in the legal profession, is the continued change in the gender composition of lawyers. At 1 February 2018 the number of New Zealand-based women lawyers was one ahead of the number of men practising. A year later, there were 393 more women. However, women made up just 30.9% of partners and directors in multi-lawyer firms in 2018. This had risen to 32.7% in 2019, but was still far from equal. Perhaps encouragingly, the 6% rise in total women lawyers over the year lagged behind the 16% rise in women partners and directors.