jenesaislaw wrote:a) You should at least credit your analysis to the place you got it -- last month's National Jurist.
For sure, I saw that article on NatJurist, but since I don't trust reporters or lawyers (or especially lawyer-reporters?) with numbers, I searched for the data and calculated specifics myself. Also, why is it a thing for reporters to not provide links to the data or studies that they report on? This is the internet age, people. http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/ ... eckdam.pdf
Not listed is the first-year enrollment for C/O 2016, which was 39,675, a 10.9% decrease. (http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2013/12/17/fir ... 77-levels/
If you assume an 8% reduction (a conservative figure) in first-year enrollment for C/O 2017, you get 36,501.
Then you can calculate attrition. Over the last 10 years, it has averaged 12%. Applying that number results in 39,143 grads for C/O 2015; 34,914 for C/O 2016; and 32,120 for C/O 2017. (This calculation differs slightly different from the previous post, which used the average attrition over just the last five years: 11%).
The percentage of grads with long-term legal jobs from 1985-2012 can be found here: http://www.nalp.org/0813research
The average from 1998-2008 (the boom years), is 75.2%.
You can go to these "National Summary" tables at NALP to find historical data on the number of long-term legal jobs: http://www.nalp.org/uploads/NationalSum ... rt2012.pdf
b) I think the assumption is tough to swallow, especially given the fact that BLS once again reduced its projections.
c) Not for nothing, but the 2012 numbers are inflated by about 500 jobs because of school-funded jobs.
d) Also not for nothing, I would say the 2012 numbers are inflated by nearly 900 more jobs because of solo jobs. 910 LT, FT solo jobs. How many of them you think were sustainable and/or desirable is open for question.
e) Yet again not for nothing, 7000 jobs were LT, FT in firms with 2-10 attorneys. Not all of these jobs are fake; probably just a small percentage. But at least some come from new grads banding together and older attorneys taking advantage of desperate people.
Tough to know how far down to adjust the numbers, but some downward adjustment is necessary, particularly if one has an interest in reconciling the ABA data with the BLS projections over the last decade.
From 1982-1997, of new grads in private practice, 5.4% were solos and 35.8% were in 2-10 person firms. During the boom of 1998-2008, that shrunk to 3.1% solo and 32.9% tiny firms. Over the four years of the crash (2009-2012), that has risen to 5.7% solo and 41% tiny firms.
So definitely, a 75% employment rate that keeps the distribution of during the crash would not be the same as the 75% during the boom. Still, we're not looking at a 75% employment rate for C/O 2017, but quite possibly much higher. We would need an extreme contraction of 20%, to an number that is 4,500 fewer than even 2011, to even get as low as 75%.
I also want to add that, given the cost, even 75% is pretty risky for people -- especially when the opportunity costs for attending law school is going up since some parts of the economy are improving. These data were not widely discussed before a few years ago, so any equilibrium reached was reached through a distorted lens.
Absolutely a risky bet if you're going into big-time debt. But really, anything is a risky bet when you go into big-time debt. And while the idea that law school isn't a sure path to riches may be novel to those weaned on the images and TV shows of the boom period, it's not a novel idea in general, even in the age before the internet.
This has all happened before, and it will all happen again...
From the Harvard Crimson in 1977:
"Interest in law school peaked in 1973-74, Joel S. Russell '71, pre-law adviser at OCS-OCL, said yesterday. The following year applications fell by more than 1000, and while 1975-76 total applications registered an increase, the trend downwards is reasserting itself, he said.
'While 100 people is not much of a fluctuation, I think there has been a tendency for application figures to drop, because a lot of people are beginning to realize that law is not a sure route to a career,' he said."http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1977/ ... 100-fewer/