Members of the law-school class of 2011 had little better than a 50-50 shot of landing a job as a lawyer within nine months of receiving a degree, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of new data that provides the most detailed picture yet of the grim market for law jobs.
Members of the law-school class of 2011 had little better than a 50-50 shot of landing a job as a lawyer within nine months of receiving a degree, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. Joe Palazzolo has details on The News Hub. Photo: Reuters.
Under pressure from disillusioned graduates and some professors, the American Bar Association for the first time released a tally of the previous year’s graduates who have secured full-time, permanent jobs as lawyers. Until recently, the ABA required law schools to report only general data about how their graduates fared, such as how many were employed full-time or part-time in any kind of job, whether or not it required a law degree.
The Job Market for Law Graduates
See the percentages of law graduates employed in various full-time, long-term positions, and those who were unemployed nine months after graduating.
The numbers suggest the job market for law grads is worse than previously thought. Nationwide, only 55% of the class of 2011 had full-time, long-term jobs that required a law degree nine months after graduation. The ABA defines “long-term” jobs as those that don’t have a term of less than one year.
Of course, it isn’t uncommon for people to attend law school to advance their career without practicing law. Several law-school deans cautioned against placing too much emphasis on jobs requiring a law degree.
Nationally, 8% of 2011 graduates were said to be in full-time, long-term jobs for which a law degree was preferred but not required, according to the Journal’s data analysis. Another 4% were employed in full-time, long-term positions for which professional training was required but for which a law degree offered no advantage.