Most states (including Indiana) have too many lawyers

July 5, 2011
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This news doesn’t help Indiana Tech in its explanation for why it’s decided to open up a law school in northeast Indiana. Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., a consulting company that looks at employment data and provides economic analysis, found there are more attorneys than jobs available in nearly every state.

According to its data, it estimates there will be 339 annual openings each year from 2010 to 2015. Sounds good for those recent grads and unemployed attorneys looking for jobs, right? The bad news is that in 2009, 602 people passed the bar here. If we took these numbers as fact, then every year, 263 would not be able to find a job in the legal profession. Granted, you have to consider that maybe some of the people who passed the bar may take jobs out of state or jobs in which they don’t need to become members of the bar. But that still leaves more attorneys than jobs here.

New York fared the worst – EMSI estimates it has more than 7,600 attorneys than jobs in that state. For those with legal degrees willing to go where the work is, try Nebraska, Wisconsin or Washington, D.C. The report shows Nebraska could actually use three more attorneys, Wisconsin has a deficit of 14 attorneys (although the number could be skewed because you don’t have to pass the bar to practice in that state), and D.C. is looking for nearly 350 lawyers. Overall, the nation has a surplus of more than 27,000 attorneys.

This is just one study, but it does offer a glimpse at how tough the job market is for attorneys right now. EMSI used the number of people who passed the bar in each state and compared that to an estimate of job openings for attorneys in those states. It also looked at data from the Department of Education on law school graduates to determine the number of new lawyers.

Tell me why then Indiana Tech thinks it’s a good idea to open up a law school. They claim their research tells them Indiana is actually underserved when it comes to lawyers.

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  • It's obvious
    Indiana Tech is trying to make sure that some out of work lawyers get jobs as faculty at their new law school...after all, it will be 3 years that they will help the attorney employment percentage in Indiana before they have their first graduating class...makes sense don't you think?
  • Nonsense!
    Why doesn't the ABA mandate lawschools limit law school students to some number to justify the the excessive tuition. I pity young law students.
  • Missing the point
    I believe you all are missing the bigger picture. Though there are out of work "lawyers" in every state, there are still many JDs getting jobs where they aren't practicing (by choice and design) all over the country. In addition, there are more law school applicants than there are law school open slots. Why shouldn't Indiana Tech provide a service to people interested in a law school education? Practicing law isn't the only purpose for obtaining your JD.

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