Monday, July 9, 2012

Legal sector shows modest gain of 200 jobs in June

That's a drop from the previous month.  AmLaw Daily has the story here. Keep in mind that figure includes not just attorney jobs but non-JD positions like paralegal and support staff.  The long term outlook over the next 10 years is equally tepid according to some BLS data Professor Bill Henderson published back in April over at the Legal Whiteboard blog.

According to the BLS, there were 728,200 lawyer jobs in the U.S. in 2010.  By 2020, that number will grow to 801,800, producing a gain of 73,600. Currently, law schools average approximately 45,000 graduates per year, albeit entering classes have been trending upwards.  The BLS Handbook states:

[G]rowth in demand for lawyers will be constrained as businesses increasingly use large accounting firms and paralegals to do some of the same tasks that lawyers do. For example, accounting firms may provide employee-benefit counseling, process documents, or handle various other services that law firms previously handled. ... 

Competition [for lawyer jobs] should continue to be strong because more students are graduating from law school each year than there are jobs available. ...

So what can law schools do to mitigate the problem of way too much supply and not nearly enough demand?  Professor Henderson suggests there's really only one thing we can do if we want to control our own destiny and that's to retool our curricula to make a law degree a more versatile asset for those grads who will be forced to look outside the legal profession for employment.

(jbl).

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_skills/2012/07/legal-sector-shows-modest-gain-of-200-jobs-in-june-.html

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Comments

Professor Henderson is 100% correct. We do need to change our law schools to make J.D.s more versatile. We especially need to improve our students' problem-solving and critical skills. Also, giving our students more business knowledge would help their job opportunities.

Posted by: Scott Fruehwald | Jul 9, 2012 9:39:17 PM

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