Monday, March 11, 2013
TTT State of the Legal Industry: the Lawyer Job Market is Still Glutted
A Total of 200 Legal Jobs Were Added in February 2013:
On March 8, 2013, Am Law Daily published a piece from Tom Huddleston, Jr., under the headline “Legal Sector Added 200 Jobs in February.” Take a look at this opening:
“Legal hiring rebounded slightly last month after suffering a major drop-off in January, with the industry adding 200 jobs, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary employment data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The initial estimate of February's modest gains comes a month after the BLS reported that the legal industry had shed 2,400 positions in January. The positive news contained in Friday's report was, however, offset by a revision to the preliminary January figures that pushed that month's estimated job losses up to 3,500. (Friday's report showed the agency's December estimate holding steady at 1,900 jobs gained for the month.)
Factoring in Friday's hiring estimates, the legal sector now employs 5,000 more people than it did at this point last year and roughly 1.125 million people overall—about 50,000 fewer than it did at its pre-recession peak in 2007.” [Emphasis mine]
Yes, those are fantastic gains, right?!?! Who wouldn’t want to go to law school at this point in time? Isn’t it nice that there are an estimated 5,000 more people working in this field than at the same time last year? That must mean that there will soon be a major recovery in the legal “profession”!
According to the NALP Class of 2011 Employment Summary Report, a total of 44,495 people earned law degrees that year. Keep in mind that successful, older swine lawyers tend to practice until they are fossils. How do you like your odds, Lemming?!?!
Then again, Cockroach Don Leduc - dean and “president” of Fourth Tier Trash Pit TTTThoma$ M. Cooley Law Sewer - has recently proclaimed “Now’s a great time to enter law school.” Of course, the pig’s immense salary depends on duping tons of people into his low-ranked program.
Other Wondrous Developments:
Aric Press wrote an article that appeared on the March 10, 2013 edition of the Am Law Daily. That story was labeled “The Future of Law as Seen From Silicon Valley.” Check out the following gems:
“What does the future of law practice look like?
It will be user-friendly and accessible via bright and fresh retail shops with the ambiance of Apple stores. It will be data-driven, with litigators turning to enormous databases capable of predicting results and guiding strategy. It will have the charm of an assembly line that parcels work out across time zones and specialties in structured processes certain to warm the hearts of project managers. And it will be beautiful. Imagine strings of case citations rendered as computer-generated graphics as appealing to the eye as they are to the analytical mind.
These were among the compelling visions that emerged last week from a remarkable conference in Silicon Valley. Called ReinventLaw, the daylong meeting featured 40 speakers who described a series of digital, regulatory, and engineering changes that are redefining law as lawyers and their clients now know it.” [Emphasis mine]
Do you think that these advances in technology will not have an adverse effect on the legal job market?! Also, do you believe that Biglaw clients will return to the billable hour scam? With every major industry, such developments lead to more work being performed by fewer employees.
Later on, the article continued:
“Disruption will come to the U.S. legal market because it’s too big to ignore,” said Ajaz Ahmed, a prominent British Internet promoter who operates legal365.com in collaboration with an English firm, Last Cawthra Feather in Yorkshire. The site provides online legal services to consumers and businesses, in a combination of do-it-yourself forms and lawyer-assisted work.
Richard Granat , who runs a company called DirectLaw that helps small firms deliver on-line legal services, also had disruption in mind. “We have a moral issue about serving the American people,” Granat told the audience. “If the legal profession can’t figure it out, we should deregulate the whole thing. Let capitalism work its magic.” With that, the room burst into applause.” [Emphasis mine]
Read this Chris Opfer article, which appeared in New York magazine on March 14, 2012. The piece is entitled “Rise of the Machines: New Technology May Spell the End for NYC’s Bottom-Rung Lawyers.” You will see that the $outhern Di$trict of New York became the first federal pig court to approve the use of predictive coding. The “profession” has already felt the effects of this decision.
Conclusion: The U.S. lawyer job market is GLUTTED and shrinking. As such, clients and companies are hiring fewer attorneys. Due to ABA “Ethics” Opinion 08-451 - issued in August 2008 - U.S. law firms can now hire foreign attorneys and non-lawyers to engage in American legal discovery. Legal process outsourcing, temp hag agencies, and automation have had one hell of an impact on the U.S. lawyer job market. Do not expect those lost jobs to return. Clients and employers will demand fewer attorneys - relying on technology - to perform more work. For $ome rea$on, ABA-accredited diploma mills will continue to pump out FAR TOO MANY graduates, for the available number of job openings.
Posted by Nando at 7:50 AM