Saturday, August 17, 2013

WSJ: "The Legal Job Market Is So Bad, It's Good"

In this blog post, the Wall Street Journal discusses Professor Bernard Burk's (North Carolina) new draft article entitled What's New About the New Normal: The Evolving Market for New Lawyers in the 21st Century  In it, Professor Burk predicts that although the job market for new lawyers (especially at BigLaw) will remain depressed, falling enrollments at law schools also mean there will be less competition for the available jobs. Translation:  The job market is so bad, it will be good for those entering law school three to five years from now.

From the WSJ Law Blog:

[Professor Burk writes]

The class of 2012 found something over 26,000 Law Jobs. That was dreadful considering that there were over 46,000 graduates,but that number appears to be falling rapidly. Assuming that the contraction in the overall capacity of the legal academy continues as it has begun, the job prospects for those happy few (or perhaps more accurately, happier fewer) beginning law school three to five years from now should be considerably brighter for those further from the top of the class and the top-ranked schools.

A word of caution, though. It may be easier to land a job, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a top-dollar one.

Mr. Burk tells Law Blog that it’s the market for jobs at smaller firms and in government that could get less competitive, along with lower-paying document-review positions at larger firms.

“All of which means that while it appears that law school is a questionable gamble for all but those confident of a good finish at a strong school, that may only be true right now,” writes Mr. Burk.


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