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Median starting salaries plummet

2011 law school grads’ salaries fell 5 percent since 2010, 17 percent since 2009

And now for some news that adds salt to law students’ wounds.

According to the NALP, the Association for Legal Career Professionals (formerly known as the National Association for Law Placement), starting salaries for recent law school graduates are on the decline.

The organization found that 2011 law school graduates’ salaries were 5 percent less than 2010 graduates’ salaries and 17 percent less than 2009 graduates’ salaries. The national median salary among 2011 graduates who had worked full-time for at least one year was $60,000, compared with $63,000 in 2010 and $72,000 in 2009.

Within private practices, median starting salaries dropped more than 18 percent from 2010 and 35 percent from 2009. The national median salary was $85,000, compared with $104,000 in 2010 and $130,000 in 2009.

The organization also found that nearly a quarter of employed 2011 grads were seeking a different job.

“Obviously these statistics paint a pretty dismal picture,” NALP Executive Director James Leipold said in a statement. “In many ways, the class of 2011 bore the worst brunt of the impact of the recession on the entry-level legal job market, particularly in the large firm market.”

The latest job statistics come just one month after the NALP reported that 2011 law school grads are facing the worst job market in 18 years. The employment rate for the graduating class is 85.6 percent, the lowest since 1994, when it was 84.7 percent.

Visit NALP’s website for more salary statistics.

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Ashley Post

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