Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

1Ls Per Law School Drops to 45-Year Low

Following up on yesterday's post, ABA: Law School Enrollment Down 11% This Year, 24% Since 2010:  Matt Leichter, Number of 1Ls Per Law School Drops to 45-Year Low:

Chart 3

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And within our niche there are a hell of a lot of tax lawyers stuck at the accounting firms who would jump at the chance to move to a law firm if hiring ever picked up again (such as myself).

Posted by: Todd | Dec 19, 2013 4:49:11 PM

I think there's a pretty large swath of "underemployed" attorneys working part-time contract work and serving tables on the side. They haven't left the legal workforce entirely and will probably partake in any upside because they have some legal experience on their resume.

Posted by: HTA | Dec 19, 2013 2:29:18 PM

@Unemployed Northeastern. "[T]he tens of thousands of surplus law school grads from 2008 through 2016" have a short shelf life. They can't wait around for ten years for the jobs to materialize. They will move on, disappointed, disaffected, and alienated to other occupations. The surplus will clear quickly. Watch.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Dec 19, 2013 8:47:10 AM

The excess grads will clear much faster simply because they can't survive without income. They'll end up in other career paths and once they've started out down a different path work as a first year associate won't be appealing.

Posted by: rb | Dec 19, 2013 5:48:41 AM


That's not even remotely true. Let's get Uncle Sugar out of the law funding game. Then let's have "the market" clear the excess supply already out there.

I think your estimate is off by about 10 years. Come 2026, it might be time to consider going to law school.

Posted by: Bobby Dobb | Dec 18, 2013 10:43:43 AM

@Publius Novus,

I think you are forgetting about the tens of thousands of surplus law school grads from 2008 through 2016. It will be many, many years before we see an equilibrium in the market. BLS, which is teeming with labor economists, believes there will be about 80,000 new lawyer openings between 2010 and 2020. We have already graduated more than 120,000 lawyers, and it is only 2013.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Dec 18, 2013 10:33:19 AM

Good news for those enrolling in law school this year. By 2016 there will be a shortage of law grads. Welcome to the free market.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Dec 18, 2013 7:59:19 AM