19 June 2012

New Lawyer Market Still Lousy

Slightly more than half of the class of 2011 — 55 percent — found full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage nine months after they graduated, according to employment figures released on June 18 by the American Bar Association. The statistic was perhaps the most sobering in a season of bad news about new lawyer employment. Less than one week earlier, the National Association for Law Placement reported that only two-thirds of new graduates landed any type of job requiring their law degree, and that the overall employment rate hit an 18-year low at 85.6 percent.
From here.

I sympathize. I have a former law clerk who just passed the bar exam pounding the pavement looking for work as we speak.

Personally, while I did find quality full-time law related employment not long after I graduated (in Buffalo, New York).  But, two weeks after passing the bar exam, I was laid off due to the merger of a my boss's biggest client since the merged firm chose to give its work to the other company's law firm.   This sent me into solo practice (which involved a number of very high level and interesting cases, but did not bring in nearly enough work to provide a reasonable standard of living after my expenses) almost immediately after earning my ticket. It took another eight months to find a new law firm employer half a continent away in Grand Junction, Colorado.

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