Friday, November 22, 2013
From Brian Leiter: The Red Velvet Lawyer, Prediction: Full-Time Jobs will Exceed New Law Graduates for Graduating Class of 2016, by Paula Marie Young (Appalachian)
At the conference of the Midwest Association of Prelaw Advisors held at the end of October 2013, Professor Jerry Organ predicted that jobs would exceed the number of law school graduates in 2016 (as I recall). He suggested that the market would turn because applicants to law school would continue to decline while the trend in new law jobs would hold at least steady.
So, here is my attempt at supporting this prediction. I am using data provided by LSAC at the MAPLA conference, which I have discussed in earlier postings. I am also relying on data provided by NALP. I make the following assumptions:
- Enrollment of first-year law students will decline by 8.0% from the previous year through the 2015 entering class.
- Each entering class experiences an attrition rate of 12 percent. So, only 88 percent of each first-year class graduates three years later.
- New full-time jobs in three categories -- bar required, JD advantage, and other professional jobs -- will hold steady at the 2012 level of 31,776 jobs.
- All categories of full-time jobs will hold steady at the 2012 level of 33,759 jobs.
If all these assumptions hold up, full-time jobs (in three categories) will exceed the number of graduates from law school in 2017. If I include all full-time jobs in the count, then those jobs will exceed law school graduates in 2016.