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RTI reveals: 1.3m advocates; 1 in 300 Delhi-ites a lawyer; Maharashtra lawyers ‘richest’; Jharkand, Assam, J&K fastest

BCI RTI reply cover letter
BCI RTI reply cover letter
In 2011 there were 1.3 million lawyers in India, revealed a right to information (RTI) response by the Bar Council of India (BCI) to Delhi-based advocate Kush Kalra, with an average annual growth rate between 2007 and 2011 of around 4 per cent.

[Click here to see a sortable list of the data]

The detailed statistics, broken down by enrolments in each area with a state bar council over the last five years – 20 in total – show that Uttar Pradesh (UP) is home to the largest number of advocates at 288,297 (2.9 lakh). Over five years until 2011, the number of advocates in UP has grown by an average of 3.7 per cent per year.

The next largest areas are Bihar and Maharashtra & Goa both with around 113,000 lawyers each. In Bihar, the annual average growth rate was only around 2.4 per cent, while in Maharashtra & Goa the profession grew by 5 per cent.

Fastest growers = least competition?

The states with the largest growth rates are the states with smaller lawyer numbers, such as Jharkhand where the number of lawyers grew by 45 per cent to 9,789 in five years.

[Click here to see a sortable list of the data]

The second-fastest growing state was Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) where the number of lawyers increased by 35 per cent to 5,951 in five years.

Interestingly, both are also the most under-lawyered states out of the 20: when comparing the total number of lawyer per state to states’ populations and gross domestic product (GDP) Jharkhand and J&K emerge as the least competitive legal markets.

For every lawyer in Jharkhand and J&K, there are respectively 3,368 and 2,109 non-lawyers in the population. In GDP terms, each lawyer has a potential to tap into $2m of GDP on average.

BCI RTI reply: Number of lawyers
BCI RTI reply: Number of lawyers
Streets paved with gold?

In GDP per lawyer terms, Maharashtra and Goa, despite being third-largest in terms of lawyer numbers, remains the most attractive large market in terms of GDP: $1.98m of economy exists for every lawyer in the states. Other lucrative states when comparing the GDP to lawyer numbers are Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and West Bengal ($1.7m each), followed by Gujarat, Punjab & Haryana and Andhra Pradesh ($1.6m each).

[Click here to see a sortable list of the data]

Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are the states with the least economic wealth available per lawyer – only around $420,000 of GDP per lawyer.

In Delhi, the figures suggest $1m of local GDP per lawyer, although that would not realistically reflect work that comes to the Delhi-based Supreme Court from all over India. The national average in the states with bar councils, is around $1.1m of GDP per lawyer.

Busiest streets

Delhi is the most legally concentrated state in India, with every 300th person in the city being a lawyer, and the number of lawyers in Delhi has increased by a 29 per cent in five years.

Punjab & Haryana (391 non-lawyer per lawyer), Madhya Pradesh (517) and Uttar Pradesh (692) and Kerala (770), are next in the list.

In Maharashtra, where the number of lawyers rose by 25 per cent in five years, there are around 1,000 non-lawyer per lawyer.

The national average is 886 non-lawyers per lawyer with 19 per cent growth in lawyer numbers over five years.

In terms of lawyer per capita, West Bengal and Assam and Nagaland, are the least densely populated after Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir (around 1,500 non-lawyers to every lawyer).

Discrepancies

In November 2011, Legally India wrote in Mint that there were “approximately 1.2 million” lawyers in India, citing the number of the BCI website, while the BCI’s figures for 2011 supplied in the RTI and obtained from each state bar council show just under 1.3 million enrolled lawyers in India – although it is understood that some deceased advocates’ names may continue being rolls at times.

However, the BCI figure is 400,000 lower than 1.7 million, which BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra told the New York Times in an interview in January as the total numbers of lawyers.

Mishra later told Legally India that 1.7 million was an approximate but correct figure, although he had no comment on the lower number supplied in the RTI.

Mishra did not return any other calls or messages for comment after Legally India sent him a copy of the RTI reply by email two weeks ago.

Number of lawyers in India: The data [click here for a sortable list of the all data]

 

Area Total Advocates Advocates enrolled in last 5 years 5 year growth % Growth rate % (5 year-on-year average) State GDP ($bn) GDP / lawyer ($) State population (m) Non-lawyers per lawyer Data as at
Uttar Pradesh 288297 51335 17.8 3.6 122.9 426,366 200 692 29/08/2011
Bihar 113298 13394 11.8 2.4 47.7 420,749 104 916 31/08/2011
Maharashtra & Goa 112706 28547 25.3 5.1 222.8 1,976,470 114 1,010 05/03/2011
Andhra Pradesh 80225 12922 16.1 3.2 124.8 1,555,126 85 1,055 31/07/2011
Karnataka 74032 15615 21.1 4.2 84.6 1,143,289 61 826 05/03/2011
Tamil Nadu 67000 15924 23.8 4.8 115.5 1,723,284 72 1,077 31/08/2011
Punjab & Haryana 64826 16831 26.0 5.2 103.4 1,595,039 25 391 31/07/2011
Madhya Pradesh 64562 15704 24.3 4.9 52.7 816,579 33 517 21/08/2011
Gujarat 64261 7071 11.0 2.2 105.4 1,640,186 60 940 05/03/2011
Rajasthan 63370 15454 24.4 4.9 67.2 1,060,439 69 1,083 05/03/2011
West Bengal 59535 N/a     100.0 1,679,180 91 1,534 28/10/2010
Delhi 54258 15709 29.0 5.8 57.0 1,050,536 17 309 19/08/2011
Orissa 44625 5831 13.1 2.6 41.1 921,681 42 940 31/08/2011
Kerala 43339 5656 13.1 2.6 59.4 1,370,359 33 770 31/07/2011
Assam, Nagaland, etc 23077 7074 30.7 6.1 23.2 1,004,030 33 1,436 05/03/2011
Chhatisgarh 22940 4409 19.2 3.8 24.6 1,072,363 26 1,113 05/03/2011
Jharkhand 9789 4378 44.7 8.9 21.7 2,216,774 33 3,368 31/07/2011
Uttarakhand 9277 2821 30.4 6.1 15.8 1,703,137 10 1,091 31/08/2011
Himachal Pradesh 7921 1770 22.3 4.5 11.4 1,439,212 7 866 31/07/2011
Jammu & Kashsmir 5951 2080 35.0 7.0 12.1 2,028,231 13 2,109 14/11/2011
TOTAL 1273289 242525 19.0 3.8 1413.2 1,109,850 1,128 886  

Note: states’ population and GDP figures via Wikipedia

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