Law Students

Employment for Law Graduates Lowest Since 1994
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According to a report released by the NALP on Monday, graduates nine months out of law school had the lowest recorded employment rate since 1994. The 85.6 % recorded employment, of course, does not take into account how many of those law graduates are actually in jobs for lawyers and how many are doing pizza delivery. A little bit into the report of the NALP and you’d find that less than half of law graduates are in private law practice, while, and this is the bit that really matters, – the number of law graduates in jobs that require passing the bar is the lowest since 1974.

James Leipold, executive director of the NALP said, “This is the class, even though we’re talking about it in 2012, that got caught in the worst of the recession.” NALP maintains an attitude that the future’s got to be better since it can’t get any worse.

Only 65.4% of law graduates were able to get a job requiring an attorney license, and in the history of NALP, the figures have never been so dismal. At the same time, of course, the employment of law graduates in businesses went up to 18.1%, the highest in the history of NALP.


According to the overall survey, the Great Recovery following in the footsteps of the Great Recession has been able to increase only 0.43 percent employment in the legal sector last year. This data has been gathered from the seasonally adjusted figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. Overall, the legal sector has lost 60,100 jobs since 2007 that are yet to be recovered, leave alone the thousands of new law graduates entering the market.

William Dantzler, a hiring partner of White & Case, told Reuters that he thought law firms would not hire as many law students as they used to in previous years. Dantzler opined that improvements in technology and rise of e-discovery as a specific industry in litigation has reduced the need for law firms to hire an army of associates.

Dantzler said, “I think everybody is looking at the old numbers as something to aspire to … But the truth is, I’m not sure how healthy those old numbers were for the system.”

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