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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thomas Cooley: The Robust Job Market for Lawyers

Thomas Cooley Law School -- which has sued a law firm and bloggers, and in turn been sued by former students, over its placement data -- has released Employment in the Legal Profession, Report One: National Employment, the first in a three-part series that explores employment for lawyers and other legal occupations:

Report One summarizes data produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding national employment and unemployment for workers in legal occupations.

Chart

(Hat Tip: David Yellen.)

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Comments

I hope kurzon strauss gets to do detailed discovery. Also, that 1% number has to be wrong although i don't yet know why.

Posted by: anon | Aug 18, 2011 3:16:40 AM

I see, they're getting their stats from the BLS, similar to how they got their "% of student loan defaults" from the government. The problem is that a Cooley grad who can't get a job and so has to move back home (i.e. is unemployed), and has to defer his student loans due to unemployment (i.e. defaults on his loan, as that term is defined in economics) shows up as neither an unemployed lawyer or as a student loan default under those government measures. Being more optimistic, a Cooley grad who uses his undergraduate degree to get a non-law job for $45k and who has to go in an Income Based Repayment plan (because nobody can make a $2,000 monthly student loan payment on $45k) also doesn't show up as unemployed or a default.

But don't worry Cooley! Hopefully Kurzon Strauss will use their own measures, based on a granular study of your actual "second best law school" graduates.

Posted by: anon | Aug 18, 2011 3:37:40 AM

I have heard and read similar statistics on legal employment from other sources, including NPR. While I understand that many will be skeptical of the source and therefore the content of this article, I am beginning to wonder if we have all been snookered by the anti-law school blogging society.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Aug 18, 2011 5:37:38 AM

The BLS is generally pretty reliable, but I wonder if we're missing something in their methodology here. The 1.5% unemployment rate for lawyers just sounds highly improbable. Granted, they do have count the many lawyers that are involuntarily "self-employed" as employed. Since you can always hang a shingle up and work, even if you starve in the process, lawyer unemployment should be very low.

If that's the methodology, then the statistic is pretty useless.

Posted by: ry | Aug 18, 2011 7:39:55 AM

Are the unemployment statistics based on federal unemployment benefits claims? If so, that necessarily excludes graduates who have not been able to find a job at all, as they can't claim unemployment if they've not been previously employed. Also, what about the scores of lawyers (myself included) who are simply under-employed (e.g. working in temp positions or doing doc review)? We are not unemployed, per se, but we are hourly workers without any benefits.

Posted by: ras | Aug 19, 2011 4:34:39 AM

How convenient in that it makes going to Cooley look like a great decision - look at all of the opportunity afterwards! Which supports Cooley's large body of well paid faculty and staff and their fancy videoteaching systems and libraries. This is no struggling nonprofit, these guys are printing money.

Posted by: Tax Lawya | Aug 19, 2011 11:14:22 AM