Saturday, December 10, 2011
At the Careerist blog, Nelson Miller, Dean of Cooley Law School’s Grand Rapids campus says yes. And he backs up his argument with an armload of statistics. Here is one excerpt:
Despite the recession and current job-market conditions, employment of recent law graduates has been relatively strong. Over the past ten years, recent graduates who are unemployed but not seeking employment has run between 1.7 percent and 3.2 percent, with a median of 2.2 percent. When calculating unemployment rates, the Bureau of Labor Statistics excludes those not seeking employment. Using the BLS approach and data, unemployment rates of recent law graduates were 5.3 percent in 2001 and 6.1 percent in 2002. Those rates then declined to 2.7 percent in 2006 before rising in 2007 to 4.1 percent. In 2008, the rate rose to 5.4 percent and then to 6.0 percent in 2009 and 6.2 percent in 2010.
These figures are all well below the national unemployment rate that reached 9.6 percent in 2010. They are also figures for the most recent entrants into the law field. Keep in mind that lawyer unemployment in 2010 was just 1.5 percent. Probably, no field of recent college graduates fares significantly better than law graduates do. Critics assert that recent law graduates find more work in nonprofessional fields. Yet in 2010, only 1.9 percent of 2010 graduates with known employment status reported nonprofessional employment, up by only 0.6 percent from 2007. Nonprofessional employment varied little in the past ten years, starting at 1.5 percent in 2001 and never exceeding 1.9 percent.