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Metrics on the Korean legal market and some extrapolations from them

In the Asian Lawyer, Summer 2012, two lawyers from a Korean firm state that “the size of the Korean legal market is around USD 3 to 3.5 billion.  Excluding litigation, the market size of the transaction market may be about USD 1 billion.”   Elsewhere I have offered some data on law departments in Korea (See my post of Jan 14, 2011: around 16 listed companies per million population.). On the next page, a partner in another firm mentions that “previously there have been around 1000 lawyers admitted to the bar every year, but this is the first year that we will be seeing 2500 new lawyers.”   Graduation from law school is one thing, passing the bar is another in Korea (See my post of May 18, 2010: bar passage rate in Korea at less than 5 %.).


US law schools graduate around 40 times as many lawyers each year. If we multiply the Korean legal market by 40, it suggests approximately a $120 billion US legal market. Others have found roughly similar figures (See my post of March 27, 2011: perhaps $70 billion by the Fortune 500 and $60 billion to US law firms; Oct. 25, 2011 #2: $60 billion global and $200 billion U.S. litigation figures; Oct. 28, 2011: $100 billion U.S. corporate legal market as 20% of global market; and Nov. 21, 2011 #3: “American legal market” generated around $255 billion.).

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