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By Stephen Pederson

Law Grads Face Coin Flip Prospects – Jobs Scarce

Does Law School Pay?

The Wall Street Journal reported that the American Bar Associationhas released employment data on recent graduates of American Law Schools.   Data gathered from 2011 graduates, shows that 9 months after graduation it is a virtual coin flip whether or not you have a full time job with

Painting of Laywers by Honore Daumier

A Painting by Honore Daumier

a term greater than one year that actually requires the law degree that you just obtained.  Based on this information, the WSJ reports that law school employment for recent grads is approximately only 54% if you take into account that the job obtained is actually qualified as a position that is full time and requires a law degree to perform it.

Considering that 85% of legal students leave college with an average debt load of $98,000 – as reported by Forbes, this employment numbers would lead one to question the sense of persuing such a career with such a high level of employment risk.

Furthermore, only 8% of the 2011 graduates obtained jobs at larger law firms (those firms with over 250 lawyers).

The range in percentages of employment by school varied dramatically, from the University of Virginia with 94.69% to Whittier University at 17%.

The Top 5 Law Schools by 2011 Grad Employment

  1. University of Virginia, 95%
  2. Columbia University, 94%
  3. Stanford University, 91%
  4. New York University, 90%
  5. Harvard University, 90%

The Bottom 5 Law Schools by 2011 Grad Employment

  1.  Whittier College, 17%
  2. University of the District of Columbia, 21%
  3. Golden State University, 22%
  4. Thomas Jefferson School of Law, 27%
  5. Western New England University, 30%

Forbes.com also reports that law school enrollment has dropped by near 25% in the last two years and LSAT entrance exams into legal programs have decreased by over 15%.

For more on this topic:

Updated: L.A. Times: Class action: Law school grads claim misleading reports of success - www.latimes.com

Wall Street Journal – Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Forbes.com  – Why Attending Law School Will be the Worst Career Decision that You’ll Ever Make

 

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