BigA wrote:whoa okay. But top 10% at a ranked school... That would put you in the top 5% of overall candidates graduating law school. The number I've heard on this thread and elswhere (you can correct it if it's wrong) is something like 43,000 new graduates for 30,000 jobs. Yes, that leaves A LOT of people with JDs not getting jobs. But two-thirds of graduates are still getting hired.
Where are you getting that number from? I haven't heard it at all, that there are going to be 30,000 jobs available. Also, there are over 20,000 experienced lawyers who were laid off by law firms in the last year, which is going to increase the supply of people looking for jobs by ... 20,000. Plus because of the economy a lot of hiring has been greatly reduced going forward.
Also keep in mind the effect of deferrals. If a BigLaw firm deferred half its 2009 hires for a year, then those people are starting in 2010, and the firm has half the new hires it'll need for 2010 before it even starts hiring. That means less hiring. They're dealing with that in two ways: By hiring less, and hiring some people and then deferring them a year too. The continuing deferrals is causing a ripple effect, reducing the amount of hiring that will need to be done for a while.
BigA wrote:If you are in the top 10% at a tier 1 school no less and not able to get a job then there are a lot of people at worse schools and with worse grades snagging jobs from you, which would suggest that someone in that situation might not be doing something right.
There aren't a lot of people at worse schools and with worse grades snagging jobs from anybody. There are no jobs down that far
. I'm not saying that all of them can't find work, but things are so bad that even some people doing that well haven't found work yet. And those that can are taking jobs that used to be well below that kind of performance. The jobs they're finding an taking now are ones that used to be left to folks who weren't in the top 10% or who were at T2 or T3 schools. That leaves all those people completely SOL.
There are some people still finding jobs at those lower-ranked schools, but they're people who either already have personal connections or are building them as fast as they can.
BigA wrote:edit: read your subsequent post and see that a lot of jobs are going to BigLaw deferalls, not new grads. But does that still count for the disconnect I cited above?
It probably does to some extent. A lot of PI organizations are getting free labor now and thus don't need to hire as much to get work. But that's the problem; people aren't looking at the big picture so much, they're seeing individual pieces. I've heard people say "BigLaw is hiring a lot less, but I'll go do PI work instead." It doesn't work that way. Everyone who wanted BigLaw but can't get it is shooting for PI work now, and PI organizations aren't doing as much hiring either right now, so that market is intensely competitive too.
Plus you've got the 20,000 or so lawyers who were laid off in the last year that're now trying to take those PI jobs because they're paying jobs. And since they have more legal experience than someone fresh out of law school, they go to the front of the line, at new grads' expense.
You've got kids at Top 10 schools that used to get BigLaw but are now grabbing up all the big decent-paying PI jobs they can find, if they can even find that. You've got kids at lower Tier 1 schools who are grabbing up all the local PI stuff they can find because at least it' work. People at the top are taking and settling for less because at least it's work, and that means they're taking the jobs that used to go to the kids at lower-ranked schools.
So there's this huge ripple effect and it's going in both directions at the same time. The reduced BigLaw hiring levels and all the BigLaw deferrals waiting to come back and start work are reducing the number of people BigLaw needs to hire. The deferrals doing PI work and the folks recently laid off from BigLaw taking PI jobs because they're jobs is reducing the number of people PI orgs need to hire. Less BigLaw hiring + less PI hiring = less jobs out there.
And the number of people graduating from law schools each year hasn't changed. It's a simple supply and demand issue, and right now there's such an oversupply of lawyers that it's foolish to go to a low-ranked school, even for free, on the assumption you'll find something. It just may not be there.