We’ve written before about the tough job market for recent law-school graduates. The climate is hard partly because of the weak economy, but also partly because the nation’s law schools are churning out many more lawyers than the economy needs even in the long run.
Now a few researchers have tried to quantify exactly how big that surplus is.
The numbers were crunched by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. (also known as EMSI), a consulting company that focuses on employment data and economic analysis. The company’s calculations were based on the number of people who passed the bar exam in each state in 2009, versus an estimate of annual job openings for lawyers in those states. Estimates for the number of openings is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau.
According to this model, every state but Wisconsin and Nebraska (plus Washington, D.C.) is producing many more lawyers than it needs. ... In fact, across the country, there were twice as many people who passed the bar in 2009 (53,508) as there were openings (26,239)