How Many Lawyers Is Too Many?

6 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2014

See all articles by Simon Chesterman

Simon Chesterman

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 1, 2014


How many lawyers does a society need? Singapore has just under one lawyer for every thousand people. Hong Kong has a little more than one per thousand. In London the equivalent number is two-and-a-half; in New York City it is more than eight. This short article discusses the supply and demand for legal services in absolute terms, as well as in specific areas — such as family law and criminal defence — that are less important to the economy but vital for access to justice.

Keywords: lawyers, access to justice, law and development

Suggested Citation

Chesterman, Simon, How Many Lawyers Is Too Many? (November 1, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Simon Chesterman (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776


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