Thursday, June 7, 2012

Eesh: Only 65% of 2011 Law Grads Have Jobs That Require Bar Passage

Well, they do say you can do anything with a law degree ... but somehow I don't think the 35% here have turned down Big Law offers to do something more amazing. More likely they're settling for whatever they can find to help pay their colossal student loan bills.

Ha, ok, who am I kidding, none of these people are paying their student loan bills, they're just deferring.

What higher education bubble?

via ABA Journal:

The overall employment rate nine months after graduation was 85.6 percent, the lowest it has been since 1994, according to a NALP press release. But the employment rate doesn’t tell the whole, dismal story. 
Among law grads whose employment status was known, only 65.4 percent were in jobs requiring bar passage, the lowest percentage ever measured by NALP. The number has fallen nine percentage points since 2008. Only 60 percent were working full-time as lawyers in jobs that required bar passage. 
“The entry-level job market can only be described as brutal,” NALP executive director wrote in a published commentary (PDF). The class of 2011 may represent the bottom of the employment curve for this economic cycle, he said. Its members were caught up “in the worst of the recession, entering law school in the fall of 2008 just as Lehman Brothers collapsed.”
I am a member of the class of 2011 (luckily I found a job--temporary, but paying well), so this is a story that doesn't tell me anything I don't already know. It's rough. And it's just a little bit worse when the people around you don't know how tough it is. I remember sitting in the Bryan Cave Courtroom at Wash U in the fall of 2008. The entire 1L class was there, listening to our dean explain to us how the collapse of Lehman and the financial industry would affect the legal system and our job prospects. Key message of that meeting: you came to law school at just the right time--in three years, all this unhappy business will be behind us. Good times will come again!

Maybe not.

From the same article:
The percentage of grads who found private practice jobs with large law firms of more than 500 lawyers is at 16.2 percent, down from more than 25 percent for both the classes of 2008 and 2009. 
In case you were wondering, those are the fabulous jobs that all the law schools put in their brochures to entice new applicants. Just 16%? Pretty bleak.

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