US lawyers back Hillary Clinton in presidential race

Hillary Rodham Clinton

American lawyers have donated the most money to Hillary Clinton out of any presidential candidate.

According to, as of 16 November 2015, Clinton had received over $7m in campaign contributions from lawyers as she bids to become the United States’ first female president. Lawyers come second only to retired people when it comes to the occupation of her donors.

Republican candidate Jeb Bush has the second-highest total of donations from the profession, with $3.5m contributed from lawyers. However, he receives far more donations from workers in other sectors, including securities and investment, real estate and oil and gas.

However, 14 per cent of individual donations made to Bush come from lawyers, compared to 9 per cent for Clinton.

That Bush and Clinton lead when it comes to donations is no surprise, as they have been in the race for a long time and were the candidates initially favoured by their respective parties’ establishment, though Bush has faded badly in the polls in recent months and Clinton is coming under pressure from Democrat challenger Bernie Sanders.

Donald Trump, the current lead candidate for the Republican nomination, has received just $10,338 from lawyers so far.

Clinton is a qualified lawyer herself, as are Republicans Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie. There is a strong tradition of lawyers entering politics in the US: Barack Obama met his wife while she was an associate and he was a summer student at Chicago-founded firm Sidley Austin. Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon and Franklin D Roosevelt were among the other lawyers who have served as President.

Meanwhile, though never a lawyer, a young George W Bush worked in the mailroom of Texas giant Baker Botts.

US presidential donations by lawyers
Candidate Qualifed lawyer? Donors’ most common background Where lawyers rank
Hilary Clinton (D) Yes Retired 2nd
Jeb Bush (R) No Securities and investment 6th
Ted Cruz (R) Yes Real estate 5th
Bernie Sanders (D) No Retired 4th
Ben Carson (R) No Retired 12th
Marco Rubio (R) Yes Automotive 8th
Chris Christie (R) Yes Securities and investment 12th
Rand Paul (R) No Securities and investment 11th
Carly Fiorina (R) No Retired 6th
Mike Huckabee (R) No Poultry & Eggs 6th
Donald Trump (R) No Retired 7th