The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a story yesterday on cutbacks to summer associate programs. Law firms have sharply reduced their summer associate hiring and entertainment budgets. The cuts are sizeable and unsurprising—on average, about 20% in comparison with 2009 and almost 50% in comparison with 2008.
Recent reports on legal employment haven't been very encouraging. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, contrary to its prior estimate, there was a loss of 600 legal jobs in May rather than a gain of 300. Well, not so bad. Worse is that BLS estimates a loss of almost 4,000 legal sector jobs in June, bringing the 12-month loss to 22,000. The May and June data also show that the legal industry is acting countercyclically at this point (which isn’t a surprise, as we’ve pointed out before). The economy overall has been adding a small number of private sector jobs—but not in the legal industry.
Divining Legal Employment Trends: One Way for Law Students to Think About the Market Is to Think About Themselves
If you follow the legal press even casually, you’re likely to see quite different, and constantly shifting, views of the future market for lawyers. You can regularly find optimism and pessimism in a sort of perpetual point/counterpoint. For those in law school and those thinking about entering law school, what are you to make of all this?
A Recent Graduate’s Ground-Level View of Law School and Legal Employment: Advise-In To Welcome Guest Blogger Ellen Branch
Advise-In is pleased to welcome Ellen Branch as a guest blogger later this week. Ellen is a 2010 graduate of an east coast law school ranked between 51 and 100 by US News, and received her undergraduate degree from a well-known private college/university.
The New York Times recently reported that, in the last two years, at least ten law schools have moved to more lenient grading standards. The occasion for this story was Loyola Los Angeles’ decision to retroactively raise recent student grades by 0.333.
Traditionally, law firms have been the major outlet for new law school graduates, particularly graduates of elite law schools. That’s still true but the recession has dramatically reduced those opportunities, at least for now.
Better Job Prospects for Entering Law School Students? A Medium-Term View of the Legal Employment Market
In response to the Am Law Daily's report earlier in June that the legal industry has lost approximately 22,000 jobs since May 2009, a comment from Gordon asked, “What does this mean for me? I will be a 1L in the fall. By the time I graduate in 2013, will the legal sector be back on its feet?” Although the medium-term of three and four years can’t be predicted easily, there are general market historical patterns that, when linked with less historical assumptions, can produce an informed opinion: 2013-14 law school graduates are more likely than not to find themselves much better-positioned than 2009 and 2010 graduates.
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