The NALP’s Executive Director, Jim Leipold, has announced that we’ve “hit the bottom” with how many new associates are hiring, with the class of 2011 getting the worse of it. But he adds “I see no reason for it to continue on a downward spiral.” In other words, it should perk up.
“There is no 3L hiring market,” he said. And it seems many law grads are going into paralegal work, which considering the costs of law school is a big sacrifice.
In his article, entitled “the End of an Era,” Leipold noted that for a while there was a demand for “sophisticated legal services” over “business lawyers,” but that it flipped in 2004, and is only beginning to feel the reversal as late as 2010.
According to the NALP, 85% of the 2011 graduates were employed nine months after gradation, which is the lowest its been for a decade. And considering that 3%-4% are working for their alma mater, things aren’t looking good.
“The days of the large summer classes are over. And they’re not coming back,” said Leipold.
With such huge collective debts as $3.6 billion in ABA law school graduates in 2010, the good news, that it can’t get any worse, is somewhat of a relief, if not a bitter relief.