President Barack Obama so far has outpaced Mitt Romney in donations from lawyers by more than a two-to-one margin, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Lawyers and law firms have donated a combined $24.3 million to all of the presidential candidates during the 2011-2012 election cycle, the second most of any job sector, according to the nonpartisan center and its website, opensecrets.org.

Of the two main presidential contenders, Obama received the most money, $15.4 million, while Mitt Romney hauled in almost $6.8 million.

Attorneys and firms were second only to retired people, who donated $63.2 million to the candidates. The Center for Responsive Politics defines lawyers and law firms as both members of firms and “trade organizations that promote legislation beneficial to the industry.”

Despite receiving more than twice as much lawyer money as Romney, Obama’s donations paled in comparison to what he received four years ago. During the 2007-2008 election cycle, lawyers and law firms donated $46.5 million to Obama, compared to $10.4 million to the GOP nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain. Hillary Clinton hauled in $16.5 million during the same cycle.

On its website, the center says that it collected its contribution data from the Federal Election Commission. The totals, taken from FEC reports through August 21 of this year, include political action committee contributions as well as those from individuals giving more than $200.

According to the center, the top five legal groups, including law firms, that gave to Democratic and Republican candidates overall in 2011-2012, included the trial lawyers’ group called American Association for Justice; the Mostyn Law Firm; Kirkland & Ellis; DLA Piper; and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Those five groups contributed a combined $8.6 million. The center’s site does not break down which legal groups gave the most to individual candidates in the presidential campaign.

The Romney campaign did not respond to a request for comment. The Obama campaign could not be reached for comment.

Contact Matthew Huisman at mhuisman@alm.com.