You see, the JD Class of 2009 had 44,000 graduates – competing for 28,901 jobs requiring a law degree. (Hint: not all of these jobs are attorney positions.)
Now, we will look at the number of law grads from 1980-1981 to 2008-2009 – by adding the 44,000 to the count. In these 29 years, a cumulative total of 1,127,231 law degrees were awarded by ABA-accredited law schools. Yes, ONE MILLION, ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SEVEN THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY ONE law degrees have been issued in the last 29 years, in the United States. Do you think there might be a glut of attorneys out there?!?!
Since you are in “full law school mode,” you will likely respond with a variation of the following: “Yes, but those people who failed to land legal jobs didn’t work hard enough and didn’t earn good grades. I, on the other hand, WILL work hard and receive stellar grades. So, I don’t need to worry about such a fate befalling me.”
“Many corporations agree that outsourcing legal work, in some form or another, is here to stay.
“We will continue to go to big firms for the lawyers they have who are experts in subject matter, world-class thought leaders and the best litigators and regulatory lawyers around the world — and we will pay a lot of money for those lawyers,” said Janine Dascenzo, associate general counsel at General Electric.
A nest of Biglaw cockroaches, calling itself the ABA Standing Committee on “Ethics and Professional Responsibility” issued ABA “Ethics” Opinion 08-451 in August 2008. This paved the way for U.S. law firms to outsource American legal discovery work to foreign lawyers AND non-lawyers. Biglaw partners are now “pursuing cost-effective strategies,” i.e. they are trimming the fat. These jobs are heading to India!!
Biglaw partners are concerned with maintaining their status and wealth, i.e. profits per partner. Hence, they are cutting back on hiring summer associates. Summer 2010 hiring was down 44 percent from Summer 2009. But, YOU will be different, right?!?!
“Some of the biggest cuts came from the top of The A-List. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom took the most severe hit in gross numbers, going from 223 summer associates in 2009 to 79 this year. Cravath, Swaine & Moore's summer class shrank by 81 percent to just 23 summer associates, the biggest percentage decrease in the survey -- except for Ballard Spahr, which cut its summer program entirely. Skadden and Cravath declined to comment, and Ballard Spahr did not return calls for comment.”