Legal News

Class of 2019 Had the Best Employment Rate Since the Great Recession
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

While the graduating class of 2019 was lucky enough to enjoy the most robust entry-level employment market in a decade, this year’s law grads are doomed to face a different reality, a new report shows.

According to new data from the National Association of Law Placement (NALP), which gathered data from 196 schools in mid-March of 2020, almost 90% of 2019 law school grads got a job after graduation, the highest mark since the pre-Great Recession class of 2007 with an employment rate of 91.9%. The class of 2019 saw a slight uptick from the 89.49% employment rate for the graduating class of 2018.

Law grads of 2019 also enjoyed a median starting salary of $72,000, a record previously held by the graduating class of 2009 – the last generation to benefit from a strong employment market before the recession sent things into a downward spiral.

  
What
Where


More than 90.% of 2019 law grads were able to find full-time long term jobs within seven months after graduation.

“Pre-pandemic, the legal services economy was strong, as was the job market for new law school graduates, and in many ways, the graduating class had been rightsized for the job market,” wrote NALP Executive Director Jim Leipold in his commentary on the new data. “Now it is all but inevitable that the employment outcomes for the class of 2019 will stand as a high-water mark for some time to come, though of course even some of the jobs they had secured are at risk in the current environment.”

But, the impressive employment rate was not mainly a result of increased demand for entry-level law job positions, the NALP report notes. The number of jobs obtained by 2019 law grads was flat or dropped in almost every sector, with the exception of large law firms.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




Around 4,960 of 2019 law graduates were placed at large firms of 500 or more attorneys— more than 30% of total law firm jobs were at large firms. It was this large-firm hiring in 2019 that pushed up entry-level salaries, given that large firms now pay associates starting salaries of $190,000, NALP noted. In fact, 35% of the law firm salaries reported to NALP were at that $190,000 level.

The percentage of new law graduates securing jobs in private practice increased to 55.2%, while 11.5% landed clerkships, 11.4% secured government jobs, and 8% were hired in public interest positions.



“In very simple terms, the rising employment rate can be explained by the fact that the size of the graduating class has consistently fallen faster over the last six years than has the number of jobs secured,” Leipold wrote.

Unfortunately, the class of 2019 could be the last to enjoy a robust employment market, the report warns. The graduating class of 2020 and those following are most likely to face a challenging job market with the pandemic exhausting the economy and sowing uncertainty.

“The bad news is that they are not likely to be predictive of the unemployment outcomes for the next several classes, as the recession and other changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to provide a much more challenging job market for some years to come,” warned James Leipold, NALP’s executive director.

“The need for lawyers will persist, but the current historic events unfolding around us are likely to change the legal sector, like every sector, in ways that are hard to foresee or predict with any accuracy,” Leipold wrote.



 

RELEVANT JOBS

Trademark Paralegal

USA-FL-Miami

MAVEN IP is looking for a detail-oriented full-time paralegal assistant with experience and kno...

Apply now

Associate Attorney

USA-NJ-Middletown

Plaintiff\'s Associate Attorney with a minimun 2 or more  years experience in New Jersey Person...

Apply now

Litigation Paralegal

USA-PA-Wexford

Myers Law Group, LLC is in search of a paralegal with at least 1-2 years of experience in the area o...

Apply now

Remote Attorney Placement Professional

USA-TX-Dallas

We are currently seeking a legal recruiter to join our Dallas office. The ideal candidate will be pe...

Apply now

BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Litigation Associate Attorney

USA-LA-New Orleans

New Orleans office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks litigation associate attorney ...

Apply Now

Labor and Employment Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Rancho Cucamonga

Rancho Cucamonga office of our client seeks labor and employment associate attorney with 1+ year of ...

Apply Now

Associate Attorney

USA-IL-Chicago

Chicago office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks associate attorney with 1-3 years ...

Apply Now

Most Popular

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top