Recent law school grads make less money

July 11, 2011
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Being a recent law school graduate right now is tough. Not only are graduates struggling to find jobs, those that become employed are making less than those who graduated in 2009.

The National Association for Law Placement reported last week that the median starting salary for 2010 graduates is 13 percent less than the median starting salary for 2009 grads. The mean salary fell 10 percent as compared to 2009.

Not only is the class of 2010 being paid less, but graduates are having more trouble than their 2009 counterparts in finding work at law firms. NALP says nearly 51 percent of recent grads have gotten a job in a law firm; nearly 56 percent of 2009 graduates landed at law firms. Just below 70 percent of employed grads found a job that required passing the bar.

The organization goes on to break down the class of 2010’s employment numbers, looking at part-time and temporary jobs. NALP notes that of the employed graduates, 22 percent were looking for a different job, about the same as the class of 1994, which also faced a tough job market.

If you graduated in 2010 from law school, do you agree with this report? Does this information worry you if you just graduated from law school in 2011?

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  • Please Give Credit Where Credit Due
    This report raises a troubling point. I think it's hard for anyone to look at the recent marketplace data (including this study) and not think, "Why aren't we producing enough new law school graduates?"

    Fortunately here in Indiana we can be proud of Indiana Tech's role in working to fix the lawyer-shortage. I hope that socially-aware schools nationwide will follow Indiana Tech's lead. With any luck, in 3-5 years the universities in this country can make real progress towards catching up with demand for qualified candidates to fill high-paying legal jobs.

    (http://abovethelaw.com/2011/05/indiana-tech-moves-forward-with-new-law-school-plans-can-nobody-stop-them/ ; http://www.indianatech.edu/Academics/Pages/law.aspx).
  • Brain Drain
    Not worried a bit because I accepted an offer out East several months before graduation. There are plenty of law firm and government jobs out there, just not in the Hoosier state. I'm more than happy to take my 20 years of Indiana public education and escape the backward politics of the General Assembly (you "accidentally" eliminated a government agency? really?) to be around other like-minded, non-racist, non-bigoted, cultured, and educated people. Thanks for the in-state tuition...I'm out.
  • at least they arent bankers
    Wow a 20% drop in salaries? Thats a big cut year over year.

    Hey Brain Drain-- dont let the door hit ya in the backside on your way out.

    Anynow-- for many decades we have observed a lot of people getting law degrees have no intention of practicing law. Maybe the problem is not too many lawyers overall, but too many law degreed individuals drooling over the prospect of joining the political oligarchy, for which law degrees have become prerequisite.

    Well at least they didnt turn out to be bankers. LOL

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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