8667.0 - Legal Services, Australia, 2007-08 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/06/2009   
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Sources of income

Historical comparisons


At the end of June 2008, there were 15,326 businesses and organisations mainly engaged in the provision of legal services or legal support services. These businesses and organisations:

  • employed 99,696 persons
  • generated income of $18b during the 2007-08 financial year
  • incurred expenses of $12.4b in the same period
  • contributed total industry value added of $10.9b to the Australian economy.

For the purposes of the Legal Services, Australia publication, legal services have been categorised into the following sub-industries:
  • Barristers
  • Other legal services
  • Legal aid commissions
  • Community legal centres
  • Aboriginal legal services
  • Government solicitors
  • Public prosecutors.


At the end of June 2008, there were 99,696 persons employed across legal services. Other legal services accounted for 85.2% (84,921 persons) of total employment, followed by barristers which accounted for 5.2% (5,154 persons) of total employment and legal aid commissions 2.6% (2,597 persons).

During the 2007-08 financial year, legal services businesses and organisations generated income of $18 billion. Legal and legal support services was the primary source of income for legal services businesses and organisations accounting for 90.9% (or $16.4b), followed by government funding 6% (or $1.1b).

Other legal services accounted for 84.4% (or $15.2b) of total income generated by legal services businesses/organisations, followed by barristers 7.8% (or $1.4b) and legal aid commissions 3.1% (or $0.6b). The graph below shows that barristers generated income of $271,300 per person employed, followed by legal aid commissions, which generated income of $212,700 per person employed.

Income per person employed
Graph: Income per person employed


The reader should bear in mind that this survey was not designed to support accurate estimates of change over time. Due to changes in the frame, scope and statistical unit, users should exercise caution when comparing the 2007-08 results to the 2001-02 results, and previous iterations of this survey. For further information, refer to the Technical Note on historical comparisons.