Bar News - May 5, 2006
ABA Survey: NH Has Smallest Share of Lawyers in Legislature
With only 18 lawyers out of 424 state legislators (4 percent), New Hampshire is tied for last among states ranked by its percentage of lawyers in the legislature, according to a new ABA survey. New Hampshire, although it has the largest publicly elected representative body in the world (400 members in the House), has 14 lawyers who are House members and four members in the NH Senate.
However, by sheer numbers, NH had more lawyer-legislators than many states, including California which had only 14 lawyers in a total legislative population of 120. In fact, NH had more lawyers in the legislature than 19 other states.
Also ranked last by percentage with a 4 percent share is North Dakota, which has only six lawyers (4 out of 47 in its Senate and 2 out of 94 in its House.)
Also ranking relatively “lawyer-less” were Delaware (3 out of 62 total legislators), Idaho (6 out of 105), Maine (12 out of 186), and Washington (9 out of 147).
At the other end of the spectrum, Texas led the nation with a 30 percent share (55 out of 181 lawmakers), and Massachusetts, with 29 percent (58 out of 200).