Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

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webbylu87
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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby webbylu87 » Fri May 14, 2010 10:53 am

digitalcntrl wrote:Another problems for job seekers is that there is a glut of law students for the class of 2012 and 2013 esp. outside of the T-14.


Is this really true? It only seems to me that this could be true if schools drastically increased their class sizes for the c/o 2012 and 2013 but I haven't heard anything to confirm/indicate this. In fact I've heard that schools are really trying to be more selective and decrease their class sizes if anything. Someone feel free to educate me on this though.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby miamiman » Fri May 14, 2010 10:55 am

digitalcntrl wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
ATL is a scandal sheet. Unless something fundamentally changes in the legal market, hiring has to pick up eventually. Firms hired about half as many SA's for 2011 as they did for 2009. The market for legal work done hasn't been halved.

Investment banks (who got slammed worse than law firms) are already being to ramp up hiring.

Thought people should remember, outside the T14, even during the boom, there weren't big law jobs for anyone who wanted one. Median at WUSTL wasn't getting big law even in 2007.


Maybe, but increasingly law firms are viewing their associates as expendable (there are plenty of young turks to take your spot), so get ready for lower salaries/fewer bounses. Also Firms have just come out of a recession so everyone is very Conservative hiring wise (esp. since SAs and 1st years don't really contribute that much). Another problems for job seekers is that there is a glut of law students for the class of 2012 and 2013 esp. outside of the T-14.



I'm not sure if firms are increasingly viewing associates as expendable. I think it's fairly well-established that firms have for some time viewed -- and continue to view -- associates as very expendable. So the modifier "increasingly" does not ring true to me.

To your point, however, of lower salaries/smaller (or fewer) bonuses: this flies in the face of every story I have read on ATL. Check you facts?

Of course, there were salary freezes, cuts, etc in 2008-09. Those stories have rather recently (in 2010) been upended by reports of true-ups, bonuses, and firms going back to a market rate of 160k.
Last edited by miamiman on Fri May 14, 2010 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby englawyer » Fri May 14, 2010 10:56 am

i think he/she is implying that the students of the past several years will all be trying to get into firms at the same time.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby d34d9823 » Fri May 14, 2010 11:16 am

englawyer wrote:i think he/she is implying that the students of the past several years will all be trying to get into firms at the same time.

Yeah, but that train has left the station. ATL is calling those students the "lost class."

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby webbylu87 » Fri May 14, 2010 11:19 am

englawyer wrote:i think he/she is implying that the students of the past several years will all be trying to get into firms at the same time.


I'm going to re-post this quote/article from earlier in the thread:

webbylu87 wrote:I can't remember what thread I got this article (http://abovethelaw.com/2010/05/nalp-201 ... eneration/) from but it had an interesting quote from Jim Leipold, NALP Executive Director which is in line with this thread:

The employed-nine-months-after-graduation fiasco led Leipold into a larger discussion about the “lost generation”: students in the class of 2009, 2010, 2011, and maybe even 2012 that have been shut out of or laid off from Biglaw. Leipold didn’t have a lot of hopeful things to say to these people:

"I don’t think Biglaw will ever reabsorb that group of people. Maybe a few individuals, but not statistically… For a large group of people that came of in age in this time … their career paths will look very different [then people who graduated during past boom times]…It’s just their bad luck"

The truth might hurt, but it’s hard to deny what Leipold is saying from a statistical standpoint. There are more people signing up for law school than ever before. Talent keeps flowing into the system. At some point, soon perhaps, it will make more sense for Biglaw to hire fresh talent, talent that hasn’t been scarred by this recession, instead of going back and picking up people who got thrown off the bandwagon during the recession.


Jim Leipold seems to believe that in the future, firms may opt for the more recent graduates rather than those who have been left behind because of the recession. This is only one man's opinion though. Take it for what it is.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby digitalcntrl » Fri May 14, 2010 6:57 pm

webbylu87 wrote:
digitalcntrl wrote:Another problems for job seekers is that there is a glut of law students for the class of 2012 and 2013 esp. outside of the T-14.


Is this really true? It only seems to me that this could be true if schools drastically increased their class sizes for the c/o 2012 and 2013 but I haven't heard anything to confirm/indicate this. In fact I've heard that schools are really trying to be more selective and decrease their class sizes if anything. Someone feel free to educate me on this though.


Numerous T1 schools have increased the number of students ever since the recession hit. The school I transferred from (in the low 40s) doubled their incoming class from 250 to like 500. You are correct that schools are more selective but they are on the upper side of T1 (T-14, arguably T25).

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby digitalcntrl » Fri May 14, 2010 7:05 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:
englawyer wrote:i think he/she is implying that the students of the past several years will all be trying to get into firms at the same time.

Yeah, but that train has left the station. ATL is calling those students the "lost class."


There are two issues here that drive lower job prospects: 1) the lack of legal demand and 2) the oversupply of qualified job seekers. One could argue that since we are coming out of the recession the former will increase. However this does not address the latter. They are many laid off experienced BigLaw associates out there with contacts at various firms who have an advantage over some green law student with no experience and few contacts. People are correct when they say firms may not head back to 2009 and 2010 grads (with no experience) to find associates but this applies less to people with experience.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby d34d9823 » Sat May 15, 2010 12:44 am

digitalcntrl wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:
englawyer wrote:i think he/she is implying that the students of the past several years will all be trying to get into firms at the same time.

Yeah, but that train has left the station. ATL is calling those students the "lost class."


There are two issues here that drive lower job prospects: 1) the lack of legal demand and 2) the oversupply of qualified job seekers. One could argue that since we are coming out of the recession the former will increase. However this does not address the latter. They are many laid off experienced BigLaw associates out there with contacts at various firms who have an advantage over some green law student with no experience and few contacts. People are correct when they say firms may not head back to 2009 and 2010 grads (with no experience) to find associates but this applies less to people with experience.

This is true to some degree, but getting laid off in any industry really hurts your chances of getting hired again. This is because it stamps a huge "this person was in our bottom 25/50/75% of people" on your resume. My intuition is that firms will go to new blood over former associates.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby phoenix323 » Sat May 15, 2010 12:55 am

50 resumes?? Really? If this was really what I wanted to do with my life and I had spent 3 years working for it, you better believe I'd send out more than 50 resumes before giving up and moving home with mom and dad. Weak.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby digitalcntrl » Sat May 15, 2010 11:10 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:
digitalcntrl wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:
englawyer wrote:i think he/she is implying that the students of the past several years will all be trying to get into firms at the same time.

Yeah, but that train has left the station. ATL is calling those students the "lost class."


There are two issues here that drive lower job prospects: 1) the lack of legal demand and 2) the oversupply of qualified job seekers. One could argue that since we are coming out of the recession the former will increase. However this does not address the latter. They are many laid off experienced BigLaw associates out there with contacts at various firms who have an advantage over some green law student with no experience and few contacts. People are correct when they say firms may not head back to 2009 and 2010 grads (with no experience) to find associates but this applies less to people with experience.

This is true to some degree, but getting laid off in any industry really hurts your chances of getting hired again. This is because it stamps a huge "this person was in our bottom 25/50/75% of people" on your resume. My intuition is that firms will go to new blood over former associates.


Usually laid off associates are shunned because there is a perception that somehow did not make the cut (this is quite applicable during normal times). However, since most of the layoffs were due to a recession that stigma is not so common.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby d34d9823 » Sat May 15, 2010 11:13 pm

digitalcntrl wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:This is true to some degree, but getting laid off in any industry really hurts your chances of getting hired again. This is because it stamps a huge "this person was in our bottom 25/50/75% of people" on your resume. My intuition is that firms will go to new blood over former associates.


Usually laid off associates are shunned because there is a perception that somehow did not make the cut (this is quite applicable during normal times). However, since most of the layoffs were due to a recession that stigma is not so common.


To some degree, yes. However, do you think these firms laid off all of their associates? Of course not, they laid off the bottom X%, where X is higher in the divisions where work was slow. So it's still not a good thing.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby baby lawyer » Wed May 19, 2010 11:35 am

I'm reading a lot of these articles where no-offered Biglaw summer associates graduate law school with no job and move back home to work in some menial job to make ends meet for a while. This strikes me as odd -- is it that difficult for someone who was qualified enough to obtain a Biglaw SA position to get a legal job in a smaller to mid-sized firm? Even working as an associate in a 2-3 atty office has to be better than working in music sales, especially for your resume?

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby Action Jackson » Wed May 19, 2010 11:51 am

baby lawyer wrote:I'm reading a lot of these articles where no-offered Biglaw summer associates graduate law school with no job and move back home to work in some menial job to make ends meet for a while. This strikes me as odd -- is it that difficult for someone who was qualified enough to obtain a Biglaw SA position to get a legal job in a smaller to mid-sized firm? Even working as an associate in a 2-3 atty office has to be better than working in music sales, especially for your resume?

"Qualified enough" means what, exactly? Good grades in 1st year classes. Why would a 2-3 attorney office care? That's the problem. We graduate with little to no practical lawyering skills. The smaller the firm, the less likely their willingness to train someone that has no idea what they're doing, especially when there's not a lot of extra money/work sitting around.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby Matthies » Wed May 19, 2010 11:59 am

baby lawyer wrote:I'm reading a lot of these articles where no-offered Biglaw summer associates graduate law school with no job and move back home to work in some menial job to make ends meet for a while. This strikes me as odd -- is it that difficult for someone who was qualified enough to obtain a Biglaw SA position to get a legal job in a smaller to mid-sized firm? Even working as an associate in a 2-3 atty office has to be better than working in music sales, especially for your resume?


The problem is that most law students, especially at schools where in the past jobs were provided to them through the school, have no idea how to land jobs outside of OCI or mass mailing. Neither of these are effective for landing jobs at small or medium sized law firms because they don't normally do OCI, they don't respond well to unsolicited resumes and highering at these firms tends to be word of mouth/recommendation.

Hence law students who don't look outside the school for connections before they graduate find themselves shut out of those avenues for finding jobs. Many give up or resort to responding to want ads. And anyone who has been in a manager position or owned their own company will tell you that placing a 'want add' is typically your last resort for finding good employees.

Typically you ask your current employees if they know anyone they can personal receond that would fit into the company, or you ask your peers, before you place a blind add for the general public. If your company has a good rep and happy employees then you often get plenty of candidates suggested internally, but if you have a bad rep or people don't like working for you, then you likely need to place an add.

Hence, in part, why you see people post "crappy" law jobs from adds they found online here. If you have to put out an add to hire lawyers in this economy, its likely because what you offer is not that great.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby baby lawyer » Wed May 19, 2010 12:05 pm

That makes sense. Thank you

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby confusedball » Tue May 25, 2010 11:15 pm

southernboy wrote:whoever listed an "MD" as a way to get rich quick is retarded. Maybe you never considered the fact that MD's have more debt than JD's, plus they have an extra year of medical school, AND they spend at least the first 4 years of work in residency where they will be working 80-100 hour weeks for about 30-40k a year. And when they do finally start making 6-digits when they reach their 30s they can expect a portion of their salary to be flushed down the toilet for malpractice insurance. Oh yeah and then they can START paying off their exorbitant medical school bills. A friend of my family is an ER doctor who is currently living in a trailer home and he has still not paid off his med school bills (he's 45). Why do idiots on this board assume that going to medical school is so much better than Law school?

What's with all the aggression when someone suggests the MD route?

I don't think the original poster meant that it's a path to "get rich quick," only that a six figure salary (upper middle class lifestyle) is fairly certain for a physician unless one chooses otherwise or is grossly incompetent. Whereas this is mainly true in law for only those in biglaw and federal gov't.

Obviously medicine is a long, long path. But for every US-educated doctor who lives in a trailer home, there are probably at least 2 lawyers doing the same (according to BLS, doctors make 2 times the average salary as lawyers).

Unless your family friend went to med school when he was over 30, there is absolutely no reason why he couldn't pay off his med school bill at 45. Emergency medicine is a 3 year residency and pays $180k (low-end) to $250k. The hospital pays all his malpractice insurance. And all compensation surveys for physicians report the number after paying out malpractice premiums. A neurosurgeon makes $750k after paying $250k in malpractice.
Last edited by confusedball on Tue May 25, 2010 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby Pisto3 » Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

If you want to be well off, set your own hours, there's always optometry and dentistry. Couldn't get past that darned o-chem, though...

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby southernboy » Wed May 26, 2010 12:26 am

confusedball wrote:
I don't think the original poster meant that it's a path to "get rich quick," only that a six figure salary (upper middle class lifestyle) is fairly certain for a physician unless one chooses otherwise or is grossly incompetent. Whereas this is mainly true in law for only those in biglaw and federal gov't.

Obviously medicine is a long, long path. But for every US-educated doctor who lives in a trailer home, there are probably at least 2 lawyers doing the same (according to BLS, doctors make 2 times the average salary as lawyers).

Unless your family friend went to med school when he was over 30, there is absolutely no reason why he couldn't pay off his med school bill at 45. Emergency medicine is a 3 year residency and pays $180k (low-end) to $250k. The hospital pays all his malpractice insurance. And all compensation surveys for physicians report the number after paying out malpractice premiums. A neurosurgeon makes $750k after paying $250k in malpractice.


actually the poster I was referring to explicitly listed the MD is a route to "get rich quick". He listed an MD as one of the only routes to do so along with winning the lottery. I personally believe that perception to be assinine.you do realize that obtaining a neurosurgeon residency is almost as difficult as a law student landing a biglaw gig? The vast majority of doctors are not in specialized surgery but are instead family practitioners/internal medicine/ER. And yes they do make a decent salary of about 180k, but they also have close to 200k of med school debt. They are typically about 30 before they can even start paying this off. Taking 15 years to pay off 200k is not that hard to believe. And most of the high paying residencies involve 5-7 years worth of residency (ie 5-7 years of exorbitant hours for about minimum wage). Therefore you won't even start making top dollar until your early-mid thirties.
I'm not saying that lawyers are better off than doctors. I'm not even arguing that doctors don't make more than the average lawyer. I'm just saying that this false perception of the sacred "MD" as a license to print money is an example of the "grass is always greener" notion that seems to pervade these boards.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 26, 2010 12:51 am

The most advantage that a MD over a JD is that the stability of the job. Because medical schools have limited graduates each year (that is why they need to get foreign doctors), they are monopoly in the field. Obviously if you can get into medical school, do not go to law school.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby clintonius » Wed May 26, 2010 12:55 am

southernboy wrote:
confusedball wrote:
I don't think the original poster meant that it's a path to "get rich quick," only that a six figure salary (upper middle class lifestyle) is fairly certain for a physician unless one chooses otherwise or is grossly incompetent. Whereas this is mainly true in law for only those in biglaw and federal gov't.

Obviously medicine is a long, long path. But for every US-educated doctor who lives in a trailer home, there are probably at least 2 lawyers doing the same (according to BLS, doctors make 2 times the average salary as lawyers).

Unless your family friend went to med school when he was over 30, there is absolutely no reason why he couldn't pay off his med school bill at 45. Emergency medicine is a 3 year residency and pays $180k (low-end) to $250k. The hospital pays all his malpractice insurance. And all compensation surveys for physicians report the number after paying out malpractice premiums. A neurosurgeon makes $750k after paying $250k in malpractice.
actually the poster I was referring to explicitly listed the MD is a route to "get rich quick". He listed an MD as one of the only routes to do so along with winning the lottery. I personally believe that perception to be assinine.you do realize that obtaining a neurosurgeon residency is almost as difficult as a law student landing a biglaw gig? The vast majority of doctors are not in specialized surgery but are instead family practitioners/internal medicine/ER. And yes they do make a decent salary of about 180k, but they also have close to 200k of med school debt. They are typically about 30 before they can even start paying this off. Taking 15 years to pay off 200k is not that hard to believe. And most of the high paying residencies involve 5-7 years worth of residency (ie 5-7 years of exorbitant hours for about minimum wage). Therefore you won't even start making top dollar until your early-mid thirties.
I'm not saying that lawyers are better off than doctors. I'm not even arguing that doctors don't make more than the average lawyer. I'm just saying that this false perception of the sacred "MD" as a license to print money is an example of the "grass is always greener" notion that seems to pervade these boards.
Actually the poster you were referring to (from page 1 and three weeks ago) said that get-rich-quick schemes involve one of four things, one of which was an MD. That's different from saying the MD is a get-rich-quick scheme. Said poster also mentioned the MBA, which is a significantly worse option than an MD for making money ITE, which causes me to consider the idea that perhaps s/he was being facetious. At any rate, the difference between your interpretation and the original text is clear, and your interpretation is wrong.

For posterity:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:
The Invisible Man wrote:The recession's hurting everyone, not just the legal market particularly.

If you're going to law school for a get-rich-quick scheme, you're sorely mistaken and will be disappointed.

If you're going to law school because you're genuinely interested in law or have career-specific goals that require a JD, then you should go anyways.


This is credited.

Successful get rich schemes involve either:
1) winning the lottery
2) fraud/theft
3) an MBA or
4) an MD

If someone is from a relatively poor socioeconomic status and wants to change that, they should not go to law school. They should be focusing on one of the above options. If someone is truly interested in learning about the law, come to law school.

Of course, there are people that are like "I want jobz." Well, there are jobs. If you are going to law school because you believe that you will graduate making $100,000, you have a blurred perception of reality outside of the top 5 or 6 schools. Honestly, outside of the top 3. There are plenty of jobs out there. They just aren't all at NLJ250 firms making $80,000-$175,000.

Of course, there are people that are like "da loanz." Basically if someone has a 2.8 and a 156, there is an affordable law school out there that that person could attend comfortably (public school or private school + scholarship). Because people on this site probably have an average of a 3.5 and a 163, surely everyone here could go to law school tuition-free if they choose to. But they choose not to - which is fine, but then they whine non-stop about it.

No one knows exactly how much new lawyers make when they get it. I really don't know why this is. On this site in particular, people post that "bi-modal" distribution chart compiled by NALP that has a median salary at $72,000. But what people do not realize is that that chart only accounts for half of the graduates of that year. Judging by the relatively high portion of higher salaries and strong concentration of lower salaries, it would appear as though NALP actively attempted to get salary data from the highest paid graduates. I take this from the fact that roughly 10% of all graduates work at a big firm. Therefore, the $145,000-$170,000 would be about 15% total at most (adding 5% for jobs that would include Exxon's tax department and other in house opportunities). For those who don't know what I'm talking about in this paragraph, I'm basically saying that no one knows how much new graduates make [true NALP tried, but with only about 50% reporting - it's useless. It seems as though NALP pursued 1) big firm workers and 2) public interest individuals].

/factual rant.

That is all.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby southernboy » Wed May 26, 2010 1:59 am

dude, when you list an MD as a successful "get rich quick" scheme you are saying that an MD is a successful get rich quick scheme. I don't see what the discrepency is here. I'm not sure what you mean by saying that the difference between my interpretation and the poster's comments is clear. He listed the MD as a successful get rich quick scheme. The fact that he included an MBA only further asserts the idea that his grasp of the job market is extremely limited and naive. There is nothing in his post to indicate that he is being facetious at all.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby clintonius » Wed May 26, 2010 9:58 am

"can be" =/= "is"

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby confusedball » Wed May 26, 2010 10:42 am

southernboy wrote:actually the poster I was referring to explicitly listed the MD is a route to "get rich quick". He listed an MD as one of the only routes to do so along with winning the lottery. I personally believe that perception to be assinine.
I fail to see how suggesting the MD as a proven get rich scheme implies it's a way to "get rich quick." There's a logical leap and assumption somewhere in there.
Last edited by confusedball on Wed May 26, 2010 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby hoverin Ferb » Wed May 26, 2010 11:15 am

Desert Fox wrote:A big reason for the massacre for class of 2011, is because Class of 2010 became 2011 through deferrals. 2008 because 2009, 2009 became 2010, 2010 became 2011. So when hiring for 2011, these firms already had incoming 2011 associates. That explains why they were so harsh.

If I were a firm, I'd hire fairly liberally for 2012. But firms may be scared.

Remember while class of 13 OCI's next august, they don't start full time until 2013. So firms will consider what they think their need are in 2013 when hiring.



digitalcntrl wrote:Maybe, but increasingly law firms are viewing their associates as expendable (there are plenty of young turks to take your spot), so get ready for lower salaries/fewer bounses. Also Firms have just come out of a recession so everyone is very Conservative hiring wise (esp. since SAs and 1st years don't really contribute that much). Another problems for job seekers is that there is a glut of law students for the class of 2012 and 2013 esp. outside of the T-14.


I just can't help feeling that in 2012-14, the supply is still going to eclipse the demand. With firms recovering from this mess, they can increase their margins by paying less and, essentially, making the quality of life for the new hires absolutely lousy. Why? Because they can.

As for those discussing the MD-get-rich-quick-end-all-be-all career, we have yet to witness the fallout from the government's new plan.

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Re: Law Graduates Face a Tough Job Market - WSJ.com

Postby clintonius » Wed May 26, 2010 11:35 am

hoverin Ferb wrote:I just can't help feeling that in 2012-14, the supply is still going to eclipse the demand. With firms recovering from this mess, they can increase their margins by paying less and, essentially, making the quality of life for the new hires absolutely lousy. Why? Because they can.
I'll kick this off by stating that I don't really disagree with you -- there will almost certainly be many more law school graduates than available legal jobs. The quality of life consideration is also valid, especially if you mean firms may try to squeeze more work out of their associates. Likely they won't raise official minimum billables, but I think it's possible that, unofficially, they will require significantly more hours to keep in the running for partner.

That said, I wouldn't expect them to slash salaries and permanently reduce bonuses. You've heard of stealth layoffs, right? Those happen because mass layoffs are bad publicity and a negative indicator of business. Law firms don't like to do anything that shows to their clients that they are weaker than they have been in the past, including conducting layoffs, scrapping bonuses or reducing salaries. They will do these things and even the largest firms did them this past year, but continuing to show signs of weakness as the economy recovers does not send a positive signal to clients. Don't expect bonuses or summer associate classes to hit 2007 levels again, but also don't expect market salaries to drop 10%.




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