Paul L. Caron

Friday, April 20, 2018

ABA Releases Class Of 2017 Employment Data: FT-LT Bar Passage Required/JD Advantage Jobs Increased To 75.3% (From 72.6%), Due To 6% Decline In Class Size

Press Release, ABA Legal Education Section Releases Employment Data for Graduating Law Class of 2017:

Employment data for the graduating law class of 2017 as reported by American Bar Association-approved law schools to the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is now publicly available.  

The aggregate national data on law graduate employment outcome for the class of 2017 and individual schools' post-graduate employment figures can be found online. An online table also provides select national side-by-side comparisons between the classes of 2017 and 2016.

The aggregated school data shows that 75.3 percent of the 2017 graduates of the 204 law schools approved by the ABA to offer the J.D. degree were employed in full-time long-term Bar Passage Required or J.D. Advantage jobs roughly 10 months after graduation. That compares to 72.6 percent of the graduates reporting similar full-time long-term jobs last year.


The higher percentage of students so employed, however, results from an approximately 6 percent decrease in the size of the graduating class. The actual number of full-time long-term Bar Passage Required or J.D. Advantage jobs decreased by 630, or -2.34 percent year over year, going from 26,923 in 2016 to 26,293 in 2017.

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From the ABA's coverage:

"“The job market for entry-level lawyers is 25 percent smaller than it was 10 years ago, and we are in the midst of a very strong economy. There is no reason to believe that the number of entry-level ​law jobs ​will increase any faster than the economy grows, which is roughly 2 percent a year,” he [Bernard Burk] says. “Anybody who tells you that the job market for entry-level lawyers is good​ or is getting much better ​is wrong. There is no intellectually honest argument for that.”"

That just about sums it up.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Apr 23, 2018 5:07:50 PM

So, still worse off than the Class of 2012 that entered the profession in the height of the law school crisis: 26,066 of them found LT/FT/license-required jobs and 4,387 of them found LT/FT JD-Advantage jobs. And the reporting deadline back then was *only* nine months after graduation, not ten months as it is presently.

In fact, let's look at the full ABA 2017 chart: What employment categories increased from last year to this year? There was a15.9% increase in short-term, full-time JD Advantage jobs (reads like doc review to me) and a mighty, erm, 0.8% increase in FT/LT/license-required jobs. Golf clap.

Meanwhile the 7.9% unemployment rate for 2017 law school grads - a percentage that does not include the 500 grads law schools couldn't account for; a group that has high Venn Diagram overlap with unemployment - is just 0.1% lower than the U6 unemployment rate nationwide in March. To repeat, the unemployment rate for law school graduates is essentially the same as the much more expansive U6 unemployment rate for the entire adult population of the US.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Apr 20, 2018 9:28:32 PM