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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