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An enormous state-level law department (New Jersey’s Attorney General Division of Law)

The largest law department in New Jersey is the Attorney General’s Division of Law – all 580 lawyers. The Division represents all 16 departments and more than 400 agencies in the New Jersey state government. The NJ Law J., Nov. 27, 2006, explains the difficulties the Division has had keeping up to strength and its work load. “At any given time, the division has more than 25,000 cases pending in federal and state trial and appellate courts and administrative forums. Of these, about 13, 000 are litigation matters, 11,000 are administrative cases and 1,700 are appeals.”

At 580 lawyers and about 9 million residents, the state’s law department has approximately one lawyer for every 15,000 residents. If that ratio applies to the other 49 states and their 292,000,000 residents, then the aggregate in-house legal functions of state government would employ close to 19,000 lawyers.

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