BOSTON — Nearly 79% of Massachusetts Bar Association members who responded to an online survey believe the economic downturn will affect the entire legal profession, and about 49% expect to earn less this year than last year. The results are based on the bar association’s 13-question survey e-mailed to all of its members in December.

Also according to the results, about 51% expect the downturn to last until 2010, while roughly 18% anticipate the tough times to extend into 2011. The bar association reported that most survey respondents have been practicing law for more than two decades and earn between $100,000 and $200,000. Just over one-half of the respondents work for a firm with fewer than 25 lawyers, while about 30% are solo practitioners.