Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

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Kohinoor
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Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby Kohinoor » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:33 pm

According to the Labor Department... the median annual salary of lawyers was over $110,000 in 2008, and even lawyers at the 25th percentile of pay in the profession made some $74,000 per year. Despite the recession (which began just before 2008), this is up slightly up in inflation-adjusted terms compared to the median in 2000 ($88,000, which translates to about $109,000 in 2008 dollars). Note that these are median salaries, not means, so the figures aren’t being inflated by the very high pay of a few elite lawyers at the top of the distribution.


http://volokh.com/2010/01/09/do-we-need ... f-lawyers/

OFS!

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Borhas
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby Borhas » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:40 pm

quick open up 30 new law schools!

interestedbyestander
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby interestedbyestander » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:48 pm

Those stats only tell a part of the story, they only pertain to those lawyers working. It's not surprising that salaries are slightly higher for this segment.

I'd be more curious about the number of unemployed lawyers in 2000 vs. 2008 (or 2009, which is even more relevant). Chances are it's not nearly as happy story.

Renzo
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby Renzo » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:55 pm

interestedbyestander wrote:Those stats only tell a part of the story, they only pertain to those lawyers working. It's not surprising that salaries are slightly higher for this segment.

I'd be more curious about the number of unemployed lawyers in 2000 vs. 2008 (or 2009, which is even more relevant). Chances are it's not nearly as happy story.

This.

Those stats are sort of like saying "Good news! Average lottery jackpots grew last year!"

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SAE
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby SAE » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:56 pm

interestedbyestander wrote:I'd be more curious about the number of unemployed lawyers in 2000 vs. 2008 (or 2009, which is even more relevant). Chances are it's not nearly as happy story.

I'd like to see these numbers for lawyers from T1 schools only.

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mallard
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby mallard » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:00 pm

How many years out are these lawyers?

Renzo
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby Renzo » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:02 pm

mallard wrote:How many years out are these lawyers?

He's (Volokh) quoting the Labor department, so it's a metric of everyone employed as a lawyer.

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mallard
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby mallard » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:04 pm

So this is actually horrible news, right?

Renzo
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby Renzo » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:08 pm

mallard wrote:So this is actually horrible news, right?

Not really. It's up from 2000 in inflation adjusted dollars, but down from the last few years of boom-times. All the BLS statistics say is that lawyers who still have jobs aren't really horribly worse of because of the recession.

interestedbyestander
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby interestedbyestander » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:11 pm

mallard wrote:So this is actually horrible news, right?


No, it just doesn't tell the whole story. If you have a attorney job you are probably doing ok, though this is also not always the case since older established lawyers are the ones doing well and younger ones often not. However, when rumors about 40-50% of recent lower T14 grads not getting jobs, it shows that these numbers do not reveal a profession in a healthy state.

Renzo
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby Renzo » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:13 pm

interestedbyestander wrote:
mallard wrote:So this is actually horrible news, right?


No, it just doesn't tell the whole story. If you have a attorney job you are probably doing ok, though this is also not always the case since older established lawyers are the ones doing well and younger ones often not. However, when rumors about 40-50% of recent lower T14 grads not getting jobs, it shows that these numbers do not reveal a profession in a healthy state.

Anyone who says 50% of T14 grads are not getting jobs is a fucking liar. Now, if they say 50% aren't getting market-paying biglaw jobs, that's different.

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thesealocust
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:15 pm

n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PhantaManta
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby PhantaManta » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:16 pm

interestedbyestander wrote:
mallard wrote:So this is actually horrible news, right?


No, it just doesn't tell the whole story. If you have a attorney job you are probably doing ok, though this is also not always the case since older established lawyers are the ones doing well and younger ones often not. However, when rumors about 40-50% of recent lower T14 grads not getting jobs, it shows that these numbers do not reveal a profession in a healthy state.


I think we need actual data on recent employment trends to make a truly informed decision. How many of the rumors you mention are simply things that get repeated with no real sources over at xoxo every day? And how is that any different than what they were doing 2-3 years ago on xoxo? I understand the need to be skeptical about employment possibilities right now, but I don't think we should assume such massive changes until they are actually documented.

Renzo
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby Renzo » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:19 pm

thesealocust wrote:I think it shows that anybody with the tenacity to stay in the fight can wind up doing well... but my guess is that reality prohibits a lot of graduates who didn't have great prospects out of law school from staying in the fight.

People on this website DO often forget that even if you miss the biglaw boat and never get back on, there are a lot of ways to advance a career as an attorney. People who start in the 30-50K region aren't going to stay there forever... but obviously it's just a whole new competition, since not all of them are going to get promotions / lateral opportunities either.

A close relative of mine started in an absurdly crappy job after law school and wound up doing fine. That doesn't make attending a shitty law school on loans a GOOD idea, but it means it's not 100% fatal even if you miss biglaw.

I don't see anything about your close relative in the BLS data. How does this report/article show any of that?

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:23 pm

I agree it's only part of the story but it is still promising nonetheless. There are jobs out there, well-paying ones at that. Some lawyers will need to make compromises but if you go to a tier 1, work your butt off, and build your resume you have a good shot at finding one of the annual 30,000 positions available.

Making six figures in a big market might be tough but trust me if you hit up a small town with a JD from Harvard they aren't going to give one shit that you were in the bottom median because most their lawyers graduated from t3 and t4's. Building your rep and playing politics will take time but eventually it would pay off.

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misformafia
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby misformafia » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:29 pm

Borhas wrote:quick open up 30 new law schools!



Haha when I read what you type I just picture your avatar screaming it. lol.

coherentowst
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby coherentowst » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:30 pm

If there really are 30,000 new positions open each year, it seems to me that you'd have to screw up pretty badly to be an unemployed T-14 grad. How many T-14 grads are there, 5,000?

Bankhead
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby Bankhead » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:32 pm

25,000 out of the 30,000 new jobs are probably some variation of shit law, something T14 grads try very hard to avoid.

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:37 pm

Bankhead wrote:25,000 out of the 30,000 new jobs are probably some variation of shit law, something T14 grads try very hard to avoid.


...And God forbid they compromise ITE just like everyone else!

Most entry level positions blow, why are we so arrogant to think law would be any different?

coherentowst
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby coherentowst » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:38 pm

Kobe_Teeth wrote:
Bankhead wrote:25,000 out of the 30,000 new jobs are probably some variation of shit law, something T14 grads try very hard to avoid.


...And God forbid they compromise ITE just like everyone else!

Most entry level positions blow, why are we so arrogant to think law would be any different?


I guess the difference is the amount of debt a lot of people have to take on to get those positions.

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:48 pm

coherentowst wrote:
Kobe_Teeth wrote:
Bankhead wrote:25,000 out of the 30,000 new jobs are probably some variation of shit law, something T14 grads try very hard to avoid.


...And God forbid they compromise ITE just like everyone else!

Most entry level positions blow, why are we so arrogant to think law would be any different?


I guess the difference is the amount of debt a lot of people have to take on to get those positions.



Good point.

interestedbyestander
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby interestedbyestander » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:54 pm

ntzsch wrote:
interestedbyestander wrote:Those stats only tell a part of the story, they only pertain to those lawyers working. It's not surprising that salaries are slightly higher for this segment.

I'd be more curious about the number of unemployed lawyers in 2000 vs. 2008 (or 2009, which is even more relevant). Chances are it's not nearly as happy story.


correct me if i am wrong, but are you not the poster who siad that the fact the market needs only 2/3 of J.D.s means that the 1/3 that are not needed will ruin the prospects of a good portion of the 2/3 that are needed.


it seems that if you market yourself into the top 2/3 via grades, school type, connections, etc, it is not all that bad, even ITE.

but then again, like most on this site, i have a reason to color things positive.


I did not say that exactly. I said that the 1/3 unemployed each year affect the entire market negatively, even indirectly to those employed who hope for future raises or better jobs. Again, the entire legal market is not above the simple laws of supply and demand.

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wadeny
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby wadeny » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:59 pm

I don't really buy into the salary figures. Yeah, they were produced by the Labor Department, but if you actually visit the website and look more closely at how to interpret them (http://www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm#Ques29), you can't really compare the figures reported (as the article does) with much certainty since they can't be used reliably as a time series. Also, the fact that the data are from May 2008 hardly takes into account the full effects of the dismal economy. Weren't most firms slashing their payrolls in late 2008 and early 2009? If anything, it will be more interesting to see the employment data from 2009 when they come out.

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badwithpseudonyms
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby badwithpseudonyms » Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:23 pm

The hand wringing on this site is so stupid. I mean, I wholeheartedly believe people should do their due diligence before making a three year investment of time and money (that isn't really theirs), but I don't get some of the Chicken Little's that run around TLS (not necessarily this thread) and scream, "The sky is falling!", yet have no intention of doing anything other than going to law school next fall (or maybe the following).

Regarding the OP: It's nice to know that, when the jobs do come back, the salaries will be in line with (or better than) inflation.

Sorry for the rant. :oops:

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ruleser
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Re: Heartening data about prospects for lawyers

Postby ruleser » Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:18 pm

The issue is not finding a lawyer job or jobs at all, how is data regarding those who have lawyer jobs relevant? Also, this is a measure of every lawyer not laid off who was hired ever, so says nothing about how recent grads are faring.

In short, its like saying, 'median salary for auto workers is 50k, so that says there is no problem in the field.'. Nevermind half the field is unemployed...




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