This snapshot draws on information held by the New Zealand Law Society Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa as regulator of the practice of law. As at 30 June 2023, there were 16,735 lawyers with a current practising certificate, 15,640 in New Zealand and 1,095 overseas. This equates to 312 New Zealanders per lawyer, down from last year’s 326. With overseas lawyers removed there are 331 New Zealanders per lawyer in the 2023 reporting year, compared with 334 New Zealanders per lawyer last year.
This year’s notable changes include a much greater increase in the number of Asian, Pacific and Māori lawyers in the 0 – 7 PQE category. While the number of Asian lawyers has been reflective of the population of Asian people in New Zealand for some time, it is pleasing the proportion of Pacific and Māori lawyers have increased. The gender balance in this cohort is also stabilising with women making up just over 64% of this group, higher than the 55.4% of women overall. Alongside this has been an increase in the number of languages lawyers speak. There has been a decrease in the number of lawyers in the Wellington region and an increase in the number of overseas lawyers, though these changes are not directly related to each other.
View the 2023 Snapshot of the Profession