Salaries Drop for Recent Law School Grads

by Vault Law Editors | July 11, 2011

Last week, NALP released a new report on starting salaries for the class of 2010, and just like recent law grads’ job prospects, their salary potential is looking down. According to The AmLaw Daily, “the median starting salary for 2010 law school graduates dropped 13 percent to $63,000 when compared to the class of 2009, while the mean starting salary fell nearly 10 percent to $84,111 in the same comparison. The decreases in median and mean salary figures amount to drops of $9,000 and $9,343, respectively.”

These drops illustrate the changing legal job market in which fewer law school graduates are obtaining employment at large law firms with six figure salaries and instead are heading to smaller law firms with lower starting salaries. “[T]he percentage of 2010 graduates, when compared to 2009, who started their careers at small firms increased, according to the report. Fifty-three percent of law firm jobs filled by graduates of the class of 2010 were at firms with 50 or fewer attorneys--that figure was seven percent higher than for class of 2009 graduates,” reports The AmLaw Daily. Notably, BigLaw firms saw a seven percent drop in the number of recent law grads joining their ranks. Starting salaries at smaller law firms tend to hover around 40k-65k in contrast to BigLaw firms, which boast starting salaries around 145k-160k.

The class of 2010 has been battling the worst job outlook since 1996, lower starting salary prospects and a struggling legal job market, and now these recent law grads are joined by another wave of law grads in the Class of 2011. Do you think the legal job market will turn around for these green grads, or will the Class of 2011 encounter similar (or worse) employment prospects as the Class of 2010?

The AmLaw Daily source

Read More:
Class of 2010 Law Grads Face Dismal Job Prospects
Legal Field Loses Thousands of Jobs in June

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Filed Under: Law


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