The figures in this entry are furnished by the National Association for Law Placement. Specifically, these numbers are from NALP’s Class of 2008 Selected Findings.
Here is something else to consider: how many of the fortunate 30,334 are (or were) working as solos or in family-run firms?
From the last column on page 1:
Of those graduates for whom employment status was known, 74.7% obtained a job for which bar passage is required.
So, the NALP essentially concedes that ABA-approved law schools PRODUCE FULLY 25 PERCENT TOO MANY JDs. I understand that not everyone goes to law school for the express purpose of someday becoming a lawyer, but this is ridiculous. Surely, more than 75 percent of those in law school wanted to be lawyers at some point.
I also like how NALP notes that employment rates for law graduates are “considerably higher” than those from much of the 1990s. Yes, before the dot-com bubble. And when there were less law schools and less competition for legal jobs. It seems that law grads would have had it better in those economic times. Perhaps the employment rates are significantly better now because the schools simply got more creative in formulating their placement rates? I doubt it has anything to do with CDOs employing better methods to help law students out.
(For instance, my CDO told me to include my hobbies in my resume - in a different subheading. Yeah, because employers really give a crap that I enjoy reading, photography, and playing chess. I’m sure these things would have set me apart from other applicants.)
Let’s look at another revealing statistic: 977 JDs were enrolled in an advanced degree program. In what other professional degree program do you see in excess of 2% of graduates pursue another advanced degree? And these are the grads we know of! Do dental or medical school grads pursue another advanced degree within 9 months of graduating, instead of taking their licensing board exams?
In the final analysis, law schools produce FAR MORE graduates than there are available attorney (or law-related) positions. This NALP “Selected Findings” study confirms this. You industry apologists out there can try to spin this, BUT REALITY IS STARING YOU SQUARELY IN THE FACE.