What is not taken into account by this chart is the fact that the market for lawyers is smaller now than it was 8 years ago. Also not allowed for is the reality that interest rates on student loans have generally gone up since 2001. I would hardly consider an 8.5% interest rate to be an accurate reflection of the “risks” taken on by the banks, i.e. these loans are federally-backed. As a result of higher interest rates, it will cost student borrowers MORE to pay these loans back. More students are also taking on private loans to pay for their education – with accompanying higher interest rates.
TOTAL JD ENROLLMENT AND NUMBER OF LAW GRADS
Here is an eye-opener: in 2008-09, the total J.D. enrollment in U.S. law schools was 142,922 students. Just look on the right-hand side of the top line.
There is a HUGE oversupply of lawyers in the U.S. due to the following reasons: (1) an increase in the number of applicants (the low-wage, service based economy - combined with fraudulent employment and salary figures from law schools - provides an impetus for this development); (2) increase in the number of law schools; (3) more schools willing to take in sub-par applicants; (4) the resultant, excessive total JD enrollment; and (5) law schools pumping out close to 45,000 freshly-minted JDs each year.