Sunday, June 10, 2012
Further to my co-blogger's post below, Professor Paul Campos "estimates" that only about 1/3 of all 2011 law school grads nine months out found bona fide, "permanent" full time jobs as attorneys. While 85% of grads found "jobs" after graduation, only 60% of those for whom employment status was reported (which may be an overly generous figure since it's likely that those who did not find legal jobs may have been too embarrassed to report that) found jobs for which a law degree was required. Once you eliminate those students who were employed by their own schools, those who were in temporary jobs, those in "eat-what-you-kill" arrangements with solos and small firms, and those grads who banded together to form their own firms, Professor Campos estimates that the true, full time employed-as-an-attorney figure is more like 30%.
NALP has released preliminary employment statistics for the class of 2011 as of nine months after graduation. They are, unsurprisingly, terrible.
12% of 2011 graduates were completely unemployed in February 2012, and another three per cent had re-enrolled in further graduate study, which can be treated as the functional equivalent to post-law school unemployment. So the first takeaway from these numbers is the nearly 15% unemployment rate for people who got law degrees from ABA-accredited schools last year.
. . . .
But of course this 85.6% “employment” rate includes every kind of job law graduates obtained: legal, non-legal, full-time, part-time, long-term, and temporary. Let’s work with this preliminary data to make an estimate regarding how many 2011 graduates of ABA law schools had real legal jobs nine months after graduation, with a real legal job defined as a full-time non-temporary paying position requiring a law degree.
. . . .
Thus once we exclude jobs that don’t require law degrees, law school-funded jobs, other temporary jobs, and part time jobs, and then make a generous estimate of how many private practice positions with very small firms were real legal jobs, the numbers look like this:60% of all graduates whose employment status was known were in full-time jobsrequiring bar admission.Minus the 4% of all graduates in law school-funded temporary jobs.Minus the approximately 15% of all graduates in temporary (less than one year) legal positions other than law school-funded jobs.Minus an estimated 4.25% of all graduates in fictional “firm” jobs.Minus the 3% of all graduates working as solo practitioners.This leaves us with 33.75% of all 2011 ABA law school graduates in real legal jobs nine months after graduation.
This is, in my view, a conservative estimate of the scope of the disaster that has overtaken America’s law school graduates.
You can continue reading here.
Hat tip to the TaxProf Blog.