More bad news for new lawyers

June 19th, 2012 by Altman Weil

This month, the American Bar Association (ABA) and the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) have both published the latest dismal statistics for new law school graduates.  The National Law Journal profiled their findings:

“Slightly more than half of the class of 2011 — 55 percent — found full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage nine months after they graduated, according to employment figures released on June 18 by the American Bar Association.

The statistic was perhaps the most sobering in a season of bad news about new lawyer employment. Less than one week earlier, the National Association for Law Placement reported that only two-thirds of new graduates landed any type of job requiring their law degree, and that the overall employment rate hit an 18-year low at 85.6 percent.”

Read it at

Additional data from the NALP report noted that jobs in private practice also dropped in 2011:

“Not quite half (49.5%) of employed graduates obtained a job in private practice, a drop from 50.9% for the Class of 2010, which in turn was a full 5 percentage point decline from 2009. In most of the 38 years for which NALP has collected employment information, the percentage of jobs in law firms has been in the 55-58% range and has been below 50% only once before 2011.”

Read it at NALP

Supporting this gloomy picture, Altman Weil’s 2012 Law Firm’s in Transition Survey reported that 25.8% of law firms either reduced or discontinued hiring of first-year associates in 2011.  And 55.4% of firms think that reduced first year classes will be a permanent trend going forward.

Read it at Altman Weil

The ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has an online tool that allows you to generate a report summarizing employment results for 2011 graduates of any US law school.  They also provide a downloadable spreadsheet of all results for 2011 graduates.

Read it at ABA

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