Employment Stats For 2011 & 2012 Law Grads Nearly The Same

The employment statistics for the 2012 graduates are nearly the same as those for the 2011 law school graduates.

"As of Feb. 15 ... 56.2 percent of all 2012 graduates of ABA-approved law schools held long-term/full-time jobs—expected to last a year or more—that require a license to practice law. That’s a slight improvement over the previous year, when 54.9 percent of 2011 graduates of ABA-approved schools held full-time/long-term jobs requiring a law license nine months after graduation."

One telling statistic is that the "percentage of 2012 graduates who still were unemployed and seeking work nine months later—10.6 percent—reflects an increase from 2011, when 9.2 percent of all graduates were unemployed and seeking work nine months later."

However, there were more law school graduates in 2012 than at any other time in law school history. "At 46,364 graduates, the [201] class was the largest on record, 5.4 percent more than the 43,979 graduates of ABA-approved law schools in 2011." So there are more graduates clogging the already strained market.

The 'good' news is that this trend may not last long with the low enrollment in law schools. There has been a 38 percent drop in law school applications since 2010 as reported by the Law School Admission Council.

One commenter cautioned prospective law students to think twice before taking on serious debt to finance a legal education because law school is expensive relative to job outcomes. It's true that unless you receive a wonderful scholarship to attend a great school, you might want to think twice about attending until the market corrects itself. That being said, no one would have swayed me not to attend law school, and it's the best decision I've ever made -- even with a sizable debt. It changed my entire life.

ABAJournal -- Employment picture for law grads looks pretty much the same as a year ago - for better and worse


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