Legal Job Market Articles

Here is a list of links to articles and other material about the legal job market. I want to begin compiling a list of references or "evidence" for future use. This is a work in progress and if you know of any good articles that I have missed, please leave a comment with a link.

Opportunity Lost: How Law School Disappoints Law Students, The Public, and the Legal Profession This is a profound article written by an adjunct law professor. It succinctly summarizes the problems with having a large oversupply of JDs. This is a must read. I reviewed this article on my blog: Two Profound Articles

Is Law School a Losing Game? This is a great article that was published in the New York Times. I reviewed this article on my blog: Two Profound Articles

Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!, New York Times, July 16, 2011. This is another profound article that provides insight about the conflict of interest between law schools' (and universities') pocketbook and law students' desire to obtain secure middle class and upper-middle class jobs.

No More Room at the Bench, Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 16, 2010

40 Years of Lawyer Overproduction, a Data Table, and 2 Charts, Fluster Cucked blog, July 5, 2010. This blog post reveals that the law schools have been overproducing lawyers at a rate to sustain having one lawyer for every 172 people since 1973. Think about that number. When was the last time someone you know needed a lawyer? Was it a once-in-a-lifetime event? Could the U.S. economy possibly employ one out of every 172 people as a lawyer?

Statistics suggest that only 53.8% of all lawyers are employed in the legal profession., Fluster Cucked blog, July 10, 2010. Since the job market was better in the 1970s and 1980s, presumably more than 53.8% of those graduates found jobs as lawyers, which means that the percentage of JDs who were able to enter the profession in the 1990s and 2000s is probably lower if not much lower than 53.8%. Further speculation suggests that less than 30% of new JDs were able to find work in the legal profession over the past 10 years, and that percentage may very well be significantly lower than 30%.

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be...Lawyers, Herwig J. Schlunk, October 30, 2009. This is a scholarly paper written by a law professor which shows that going to law school is a bad investment for 90% of all students.

Truth in Lending and in Careers, Howard B. Miller, May 2010. This piece was written by the President of the California Bar which makes this quote profound:

There is notoriously unreliable self-reporting by law schools and their graduates of employment statistics. They are unreliable in only one direction, since the self-reporting by law schools of “employment” of graduates at graduation and then nine months after graduation are, together, a significant factor in the U.S. News rankings — which are obsessed over, despite denials, by law schools and their constituencies.
The Crimson H: Jobless Harvard 3L Wonders, Why Me?, ABA Journal, March 1, 2010. If Harvard Law School graduates are having difficulty finding jobs, what does that say about the legal job market and the prospects for students at less prestigious schools?

Hard Case: Job Market Wanes for U.S. Lawyers, Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2007.

Economy Seems Bleak for Graduating Law Students, NPR, May 21, 2010.

Law School Tuition Hikes Spark Talk of Bubble, Chicago Tribune, April 27, 2010.  Could legal education suffer through something akin to the subprime crisis in the housing market?  As the cost of education rises while the value of having a law degree decreases, law school student loans are taking on an increasingly subprime character.

Law Jobs Still Lacking: Legal Sector Lost 22,200 in a Year, But Added 300 Last Month, ABA Journal, June 4, 2010. Note that the legal profession has been glutted for years and that unemployment and underemployment for lawyers is nothing new and did not start with the Great Recession.

As 'Troubling Indicators' Mount for 2010 Law Grads, an ABA Expert Issues a Warning, ABA Journal, May 6, 2010.

Clients Grow Cool to the Support of Dwindling Summer Classes, New York Law Journal, June 8, 2010. What's interesting about this article is that it reports that the number of summer associates at large firms, which is how most large firms hire almost all of their entry-level attorneys, has decreased significantly.

Federal Jobs Update! Class of 2011 is Screwed!. If you go to law school, do you think that you'll always be able to fall back on getting a federal government job? According to this study of some federal government hiring stats, your probability of finding entry-level attorney employment with the federal government is very low.

CNN Video: Law School Graduate Works in Coffee Shop Your law degree may qualify to ask people, "Would you like cream with that?" Don't let this happen to you! Don't fall for the law schools scam!

Trouble with the Law: Laid Off Attorneys Pursue New Paths. Even if you are lucky enough to find a good job in the legal profession and your offer is not deferred or rescinded, although you may think that you have made it, you can still suffer a layoff and find yourself unable to find a replacement legal job. Here's a story about a guy with $200,000 of debt who works at Radio Shack.


smith said...

Legal education is the education of individuals who intend to become legal professionals or those who simply intend to use their law degree to some end, either related to law.

legal education

Frank the Underemployed Professional said...

Seriously? You have to be joking! I always thought that the purpose of a law school education was to train people to be doctors and nurses. I had no idea that the purpose of a legal education was to prepare people to work as lawyers or as businesspeople who deal directly with legal issues. Thank you for enlightening us and for resolving any confusion people may have had.

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