The number of MPs with a legal background sworn in this week is 40% higher than in the last parliament.

Research compiled by BPP University Law School has revealed that 119 of the 650 MPs either studied or practised law before standing for election. In 2010, 85 elected MPs had legal experience.

MPs with a legal background now make up almost one-fifth of the House of Commons.

In the Cabinet, the influence of ministers with a legal background is significantly greater, with the proportion of those in Cabinet posts rising from 4% in 2010 to 18% today.

Legally trained ministers include education secretary Nicky Morgan, a former corporate lawyer with Travers Smith, former barrister and now Northern Ireland secretary Theresa Villiers, and new Scotland secretary David Mundell, formerly BT’s group legal adviser for Scotland.

Peter Crisp, dean of BPP University Law School, said the experience of practising law, and engaging with and representing people from all walks of life, gives these MPs a much greater understanding of British society than career politicians have.

‘Their ability to engage with all their constituents, and to articulate complex arguments, may have been a key factor in their personal success,’ said Crisp. ‘We must now hope that more lawyers in parliament leads to better laws, and better advocacy for the legal profession in the five years to come.’

In the Conservative party, 22% of MPs have a legal background, as do 13% of Labour MPs and 16% of Scottish Nationalists.  

Among the new solicitor MPs in the 2015 intake were Conservatives Alan Mak (Havant) and Will Quince (Colchester) and Labour’s Jo Stevens (Cardiff Central) and Richard Burgon (Leeds East).