2011 law school grads face worst job market in 18 years

Less than half of students have found jobs in private practice

Brace yourself for some statistics that might make you cringe.

According to the NALP, the Association for Legal Career Professionals (formerly known as the National Association for Law Placement), the employment rate for 2011 law school graduates is 85.6 percent, the lowest rate since 1994, when it was 84.7 percent.

Additionally, less than half of these grads have attained jobs in private practice. Less than 66 percent have jobs that require bar membership, which is 9 percent less than 2008 statistics. The remaining third of grads are either back in school, working jobs that don’t require law degrees or are unemployed.

“When this class took their LSATs and applied for law school there were no signs that the legal economic boom was showing any signs of slowing, and yet by the time they graduated they faced what was arguably the worst entry-level legal employment market in more than 30 years,” NALP executive director James Leipold said in the report. He added that the class of 2011 “may represent the bottom of the employment curve for this economic cycle,” but he doesn’t see a surge in jobs happening anytime soon.

Read the Wall Street Journal for more information.

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Ashley Post

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