Paul L. Caron
Dean





Monday, September 10, 2012

Deborah Jones Merritt: The Declining Job Market For Law School Graduates, 2001-2011

Deborah Jones Merritt (Ohio State), Versus How Many Graduates?:

My last post examined the number of entry-level lawyering jobs available during each year of the last decade. How many graduates of ABA law schools competed for those jobs? And how many law students lost out in the job lottery?

[L]et's look first at the number of graduates who reported full-time jobs requiring bar admission compared to the number of graduates who reported any job information to NALP. Here is that information, with the percentage calculated in the last column. I've added 2001, so you can compare the current situation with the impact of the last general recession. ...

Year
Jobs Requiring
Bar Admission
Employment Status Reported
Percent of Grads with FT Jobs Requiring Bar Admission
2001
26,279
34,602
75.9%
2002
26,564
35,295
75.3%
2003
26,387
35,787
73.7%
2004
26,939
36,834
73.1%
2005
28,932
38,951
74.2%
2006
30,273
40,186
75.3%
Full-Time Bar Admission Jobs
2007
29,978
40,416
74.2%
2008
28,890
40,582
71.2%
2009
26,625
40,833
65.2%
2010
25,654
41,156
62.3%
2011
24,902
41,623
59.8%

... Over the last five years, ABA accredited schools have graduated at least 73,652 students who did not obtain jobs practicing law within nine months of graduation--and that includes the best year on record for law graduates. Sure, some of those graduates didn't want to practice law. But most of them went to law school because they wanted to be lawyers--and all of them paid for a degree priced by the potential to practice law.

Over the last five years, between 33.5% and 38.1% of our total graduates failed to obtain the jobs most suited to their degrees. In the most recent year, 2011, the percentage was 40.2% (best case) to 44.0% (worst case). From a labor market perspective, that's a huge mismatch of educational investment and career outcomes. From the human perspective, this is a tragic waste of talent and life opportunities.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2012/09/deborah-jones-merritt--1.html

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Comments

Seto? Thoughts??

Your silence is deafening. Dig in to the data, whenever you're ready. We're waiting...

Posted by: anon | Sep 10, 2012 7:03:41 PM

God bless you, DJM.

Amazing that even during the *best year* (2006) approximately *one-third* of law school grads ended up with jobs (if they could get jobs) that did not require them to forgo three years of income and incur well over tens of thousands of dollars of expenses.

This is the worst sort of financial Russian roulette.

And it has only been exposed thanks to a small handful of heroes fighting against disgustingly corrupt institutions.

Posted by: cas127 | Sep 10, 2012 10:13:46 AM

Dead. Weight. Loss.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Sep 10, 2012 8:13:25 AM