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. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues