Paul L. Caron

Monday, May 7, 2018

Muller: Small Law Firm Jobs Shrink Dramatically (-30%), Big Law Hiring Picks Up (+15%)

Derek Muller (Pepperdine), Small Law Firm Jobs Shrink Dramatically and Big Law Hiring Picks Up For the Class of 2017:

Last year, I noted that jobs in smaller firms and business and industry were disappearing for entry-level hires. That continues to be the case. ... A nearly 60% decline in entry-level sole practitioners, and more than a 25% decline in 2-10-attorney firm hiring, is pretty sharp in just four years. ...

[B]ig law hiring — at firms with more than 500 attorneys — has increased 15% in four years. Given the dramatic decline in the number of graduates — 12,000 fewer graduates between 2013 and 2017— things look even better. For the Class of 2013, 8.6% of graduates ended up in the biggest of law firm jobs; that figure climbed to 13.3% for the Class of 2017. ...


All in all, these are good signs for the market. The employment figures are not just quantitatively better; they are also qualitatively better, as more graduates are in the most coveted jobs (again, conceding that big law jobs aren't everything), and fewer are in the more marginal or least desired positions.

See also Derek Muller (Pepperdine), The Best Employment Outcomes for Law Students

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So in 2013 17,652 law school graduates landed jobs in law firms and in 2017 only 15,405 law school graduate landed jobs in law firms and that's good news?

Oh, and the NALP median starting salary in 2013 was $62,467, which works out to $65,755 today. Which is within a few dollars of the most recent data. So not only are the number of jobs down, but the real wages are flat (as cost of attendance continues to rise).

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | May 7, 2018 3:02:45 PM