Fewer law students equal "improving" job market

Posted on 03-31-2015 by
Tags: new lawyers , law students , Latest Headlines & Stories

Your moment has finally come! You are walking up onto the stage to grab that piece of paper you have been working what seems like forever to get. Now you have it and you are struck with the sudden (but quite common) fear of the unknown with the simple question: what now?

What makes your problem worse is the state of the job market because, to your knowledge, it is not good. But before you go home and decide to rock yourself away in a fetal position due to your the “bad market”, hear this: according to the job market is actually improving.

According to ABA Journal, 2013 raw numbers showed an increase in the number of jobs held by new law graduates (37,730) compared to the law graduates before the recession. The employment rate was hurt, but that was a result of the highest number of graduates ever in 46,766.

Another aspect showing improvement has been the percentage of law graduates working in full-time, long-term jobs for which bar passage is required. The percentages increased each year between 2011 and 2013:

  • 2011: 57%
  • 2012: 58%
  • 2013: 59%

So what is the cause for this slow rebound?

Answer- fewer students.

According to the American Bar Association, the class of 2017 (first-years who stared this past fall) is made up of just 37,924 students. The decrease in the number of students enrolling is creating better job opportunities for graduates.

While these are encouraging signs, it does not mean it will be as competitive, so do not completely slack-off. So for those of you who just got your diploma, you take a breather.

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