Employment In The Legal Profession
Report 2: Recent Graduate Employment - 2010

Introduction

This second report analyzes the national employment market for recent graduates of the nation’s ABA-accredited law schools who are about to enter the job market discussed in Report One.

Report Two uses data from the National Association of Law Placement (NALP) to explore four questions:

(1) What is the current status of legal employment for recent law school graduates?
(2) How has the recession impacted employment for recent law school graduates?
(3) How does employment for 2010 graduates compare to the rest of the decade?
(4) Does the NALP data accurately portray employment of recent law school graduates?

NALP’s data establishes that the unemployment rate for 2010 law school graduates who sought to enter the job market was 6.2%, and that these graduates overwhelmingly obtained full-time professional employment.

The NALP data next showed that while the job market is more challenging now than three years ago, within nine months of graduation around 90.5% of the newly-minted lawyers either found employment or entered graduate school. Of this employed group, 96.7% of them reported having found professional employment, and 90.2% of those professional positions were full time.

Finally, the report explains why the employment data used by NALP to establish employment and unemployment rates among recent graduates is both accurate and reliable.

Reports One and Two contradict the assertions that are widespread on blogs and in a segment on the media regarding the employment situation for lawyers, refuting the notion that unemployment among current lawyers and law school graduates is high. Report One established that employment for lawyers grew during the past decade, even during the recession, and that the environment in the legal profession that awaits law school graduates reflects relatively full employment, particularly in comparison to other professional and management occupations.

Report Two puts into perspective public discussion about the employment outlook for recent law school graduates by showing the data in a 10-year context. Looking at the data in this context highlights the invalid assumptions and faulty logic in the arguments used by critics in the media and on blogs, and shows that their conclusions are inaccurate and misleading.

 

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National Association for Law Placement, NALP — The Association for Legal Career Professionals

NOTE: NALP's annual publication, Jobs & JDs, has not been released for the Class of 2011. We will update this report with 2011 data once NALP releases Jobs & JDs for the Class of 2011.