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Law School Debt Far Outweighing Lawyer Salaries
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The National Association for Law Placement has released new data that shows half of lawyers are starting with a salary that is less than $62,000 per year, according to CNN.

Over the previous six years, starting salaries have also dropped by 13 percent. The salary was sitting at $72,000 back in 2008. As the starting salaries drop, student debt for lawyers continues to be high.

  
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“The third quarter of 2008 [it] was just like the spigot got turned off,” says James Leipold, executive director of the NALP.

Associates working at large firms in 2008 were making $125,000 right out of law school. As of last year, that number dropped to $95,000. The majority of lawyers work at smaller firms for less money. Compare this to local prosecutors, who make $50,000 during their first year on the job, and the numbers are incredible. Even prosecutors who have been working for 15 years make just $80,000.

“In American culture, our sense of being a lawyer is so much driven by television,” Leipold says. “Sure, there are a handful of people making a lot of money, but it’s not the rule.”

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The American Bar Association said that there are some 1.3 million licensed lawyers in the country.

Half of law school graduates from 2012 carried student debt totaling more than $141,000, according to New America Foundation. This is an increase from the $50,000 that students carried just 10 years ago.



“The reality is it’s going to take them a lot longer to pay back these loans than it would have 10, 15 years ago,” says Kathryn Randolph, financial aid editor at FinAid.org. “It’s harder to get a mortgage. If you also have credit card debt, that’s a huge problem too.”

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