Bleak horizon for new JDs

by Vault Law Editors | May 06, 2010

  • My Vault

Pity the approximately 40,000 law-school students who are about to graduate into the worst legal job market in a quarter century. Among the things to keep out of their hands: sharp objects, horse tranquilizers, and today’s Wall Street Journal, which runs a bleak story on the slender prospects and fat debts of the latest crop of J.D.s. Some of the takeaways:

•    Average law-school debt = $100,000

•    In 2009, firms gave full time offers to 69% of summer associates, down from about 90% in the previous five years.

•    Saul Ewing slashed hiring of law graduates this year by 2/3

•    The University of Texas School of Law estimates the employment rate for 2010 graduates is down about 10% to 15% from last year.

•    "This the worst job market I've ever seen," said the head of career services at the University of Iowa College of Law.

•    The nation's 100 highest-grossing corporate firms last year reported an average revenue decline of 3.4%

•    Law firms had an average of 16 summer associate positions to offer this year, about half the number of the previous year (according to NALP)

These last 2 factoids underscore the funky economics of the (fading?) highly-leveraged BigLaw model: a 3.4% dip in revenues translates into a 50% hiring slash. 

-posted by brian

Filed Under: Law

Close button

Get tips on interviewing, networking, resumes, and more directly to your inbox.

No Thanks

Get Our Career Newsletter

Interview, resume and job search tips emailed directly to you.