Annual employment statistics for the legal industry came out today, and at first glance, jobs prospects for graduates look grim.
Just 85% of the of the class of 2012 had a job of some kind post-graduation — the 5th year of decline and the lowest rate in 18 years, according to the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). Only 64% of law school graduates have jobs requiring bar passage, an all-time low.
But James Leipold, NALP’s executive director, told Bloomberg Law recently prospects for aspiring lawyers aren’t as bad as they might seem. For one thing, more graduates are looking for jobs than there were a few years ago, which brings the overall job placement rate down.
The other thing is that there are more “law-related” jobs these days in fields such as technology and finance.
For new grads who do join law firms, the number of new lawyers joining “mega-firms” with 500 or more employees jumped 27% from the previous year to 3600 recent grads. The median salary for law firm jobs also jumped from $85,000 to $90,000, which makes sense. Bigger law firms usually pay more.
Here Leipold talk about other silver linings for new law school grads here:
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