Starting salaries increase slightly for 2013 law grads

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The median starting salaries for 2013 law school graduates rose slightly to nearly $62,500, according to data released by NALP Thursday. More grads also found jobs nine months out of school, but the unemployment rate rose due to the increased size of the graduating class.

The national median salary for the Class of 2013 was $62,467; the Class of 2011 saw a median starting salary of $61,245. But, the overall salary median and the median for law firm jobs specifically remain below those of 2008 and 2009, when the overall median was $72,000.  NALP reports median salaries in other sectors have remained relatively flat in recent years.

Class of 2013 graduates found more jobs nine months after graduation as compared to the Class of 2012, but because last year’s graduating class was larger, the employment rate for 2013 fell 0.2 percentage points from the 84.7 percent rate for the Class of 2012.

Only 64.4 percent of 2013 graduates found a job that required bar passage, and for the second year in a row that is the lowest percentage NALP has measured. The data notes that employment in business reached a historic high of 18.4 percent and has exceeded 15 percent since 2010.

Solo practice jobs accounted for 4.8 percent of law firm jobs and 2.5 percent of all jobs for the Class of 2013. Public service jobs accounted for 27.6 percent of jobs taken by employed graduates, compared with 28.2 percent in 2012. NALP notes that this percentage has remained around 26 to 29 percent for more than 30 years.

“Law graduates must enter law school with the understanding that the jobs picture, while strengthening, is one that will continue to evolve, and in the course of that evolution it is almost certain that new opportunities will present themselves, just as it is certain that some traditional opportunities that law school graduates have long counted on will continue to erode,” said NALP Executive Director James Leipold. “It is not true that there are too many lawyers — indeed even today most Americans do not have adequate access to affordable legal services — but the traditional market for large numbers of law graduates by large law firms seeking equity-track new associates is not likely to ever return to what it was in 2006 or 2007, and thus aggregate earning opportunities for the class as a whole are not likely to return to what they were before the recession.”

The full data and text on the employment for the Class of 2013 is available on the NALP website.

The June 18-July 1, 2014, issue of Indiana Lawyer also includes data about the Class of 2013 and how law students have to think about employment long before graduation day.


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  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.