With a decline in law school enrollment and the economy gaining momentum over the past few years, one would assume that the job market for law grads would improve as well, right?
Unfortunately 2015’s graduating law students haven’t seen such luck. According to the ABA’s most recent report on the employment of law grads, these new lawyers have seen a trend that appears to be taking a downward spiral.
Despite the class of 2015 having 8.8% fewer graduates than the class of 2014, the overall number of people still seeking employment was nearly the same.
To offer some perspective, the class of 2014 had 43,832 law grads with a rate of 9.8% unemployed/seeking work ten months after graduation (4,295 graduates). The class of 2015 had 39,984 law grads with a rate of 9.7% looking to land a job ten months into post-grad life (3,871 graduates).
When looking at the big picture, 2015 graduates saw fewer opportunities than 2014 law grads. For example, both law firms and government employers hired 8.8% less students than they did when the 2014 graduates entered the post-graduate workplace. Likewise, the number of full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage fell from 25,417 to 23,698 (6.8%).
As we at the Commission continue to look on to the future of the legal profession, we can’t help but wonder what’s next, especially as 2016 law school enrollment predictions are expecting this year’s incoming class of law students to rise.
Will the number of entry level roles for law grads continue to fall? What does the future hold for our newly minted attorneys? Let us know what you think.