How bad is the job market for lawyers (especially with T6 degrees)?
January 30, 2014 8:54 AM Subscribe
Peaking probably 2 or 3 years ago, tales of employment doom for lawyers were everywhere across the internet, with various stories of newly-minted graduates who were $150-200k in debt and either jobless, or working at 40-60k/year jobs where they could never pay back their debt. I remember reading predictions that this wasn't merely a usual and temporary fluctuation, but was a sign of a permanent contraction in the legal job market. I was speaking with an acquaintance who recently graduated from Harvard Law School, who told me that in her opinion, the negativity was overblown, and everyone that she knew in her graduating class had either a job or a fellowship without too much difficulty. This got me wondering whether the situation now is still as bleak as it was a couple of years ago - for lawyers generally, but especially for lawyers from top schools. Are lawyers generally still in such difficult straits in terms of finding a job?
posted by ClaireBear to Work & Money (29 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Is the problem mostly for those graduates of ballooning bottom-tier law schools? Are those about to graduate from, say, a top 3 or a top 6 law school having trouble finding employment? If so, it is across the board, or in particular fields or types of jobs (BigLaw, etc.)? Is it mostly those lawyers just starting out, or are veteran lawyers affected too? Are begining BigLaw salaries for top grads anywhere near the $150-160k that they were before the crash, or has the oversupply dampened salaries across the board? What (if anything) can someone in law school do to make him/herself competitive on the job market and increase his/her chances of employment? What would a typical job offer look like now for an graduate from a top law school, and how does that differ from a few years ago? Is it better/worse in other English-speaking countries (Canada, the UK)? Is there a general consensus about how the future will trend, in terms of legal jobs? How does this compare to other fields that have become insanely competitive? My reference point is academia, which by now - at least in my field - might as well hand out its tenure-track jobs by lottery. Is law as bad as that? Is law academia as competitive as other fields in academia (my understanding is that other fields of academia that have lots of funding and where people have the option to become more highly paid practitioners [e.g. engineering, medicine, law] are in general less competitive to get jobs in)?