30,000 legal jobs per year?

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General Tso
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30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby General Tso » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:50 am

You see this figure tossed around on TLS all the time -- that there are 45,000 law grads per year and only 30,000 new legal jobs per year. Is that figure still accurate? And if so, how many of those 30k are going to 1-3 year attorneys who have been laid off recently?

Doesn't this really mean that fewer than 1/3 of us will get a legal job? Times have certainly changed...my brother graduated bottom of his class from a TTT in 2007, and even he found a 45k attorney position.

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patrickd139
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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:53 am

I've seen 15k more often than 30k when referencing new spots; but your basic premise seems right. Not enough demand, too much supply.

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romothesavior
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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:56 am

General Tso wrote:You see this figure tossed around on TLS all the time -- that there are 45,000 law grads per year and only 30,000 new legal jobs per year. Is that figure still accurate? And if so, how many of those 30k are going to 1-3 year attorneys who have been laid off recently?

Doesn't this really mean that fewer than 1/3 of us will get a legal job? Times have certainly changed...my brother graduated bottom of his class from a TTT in 2007, and even he found a 45k attorney position.

1. I've heard that number many times too, but I dunno where it comes from. I think it may be outdated.
2. How does 30,000 out of 45,000 come out to be less than 1/3?
3. There are always outliers, such as your brother. A lot of getting a legal job is good grades and having a good name on the JD. But a lot of it is made up of intangible factors like who you know, how likeable you are, how well you network, being in the right place at the right time, etc.

Also keep in mind that the overwhelming number of people without any sort of legal job at all are going to be lower-tier students. This isn't to say that things are peachy in the first tier, T20, T10, etc., but it makes a big difference in talking about employment because it skews things dramatically.

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General Tso
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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby General Tso » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:08 am

romothesavior wrote:
General Tso wrote:You see this figure tossed around on TLS all the time -- that there are 45,000 law grads per year and only 30,000 new legal jobs per year. Is that figure still accurate? And if so, how many of those 30k are going to 1-3 year attorneys who have been laid off recently?

Doesn't this really mean that fewer than 1/3 of us will get a legal job? Times have certainly changed...my brother graduated bottom of his class from a TTT in 2007, and even he found a 45k attorney position.

1. I've heard that number many times too, but I dunno where it comes from. I think it may be outdated.
2. How does 30,000 out of 45,000 come out to be less than 1/3?
3. There are always outliers, such as your brother. A lot of getting a legal job is good grades and having a good name on the JD. But a lot of it is made up of intangible factors like who you know, how likeable you are, how well you network, being in the right place at the right time, etc.

Also keep in mind that the overwhelming number of people without any sort of legal job at all are going to be lower-tier students. This isn't to say that things are peachy in the first tier, T20, T10, etc., but it makes a big difference in talking about employment because it skews things dramatically.


I don't think my brother is an outlier. I think it was really easy to get a job back then. In my own experience I went to 4 interviews in my senior year (2007) and I got 3 offers. I likely would have gotten the 4th but I was unwilling to move to that city.

My brother is a total slacker, didn't study, didn't aggressively apply for jobs. He started out working with a solo pract. eating what he could kill, then worked at one government agency and then another (his current job).

about the 30 out of 45 = 1/3 -- I am assuming that many of the 30k new jobs are being taken by the glut of unemployed attorneys with 1-5 years of experience. My gut feeling is that things are even worse now than they were in the last 2 years, due in large part to the fact that firms can hire people with experience at entry level salaries. My summer firm saw many T14, biglaw cast offs applying for a 50k small firm job.

I am not so sure that being shut out of the legal industry is limited to lower tier students. At my lower T1 I am getting the sense that very few people are landing legal jobs.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:50 am

romothesavior wrote:
General Tso wrote:You see this figure tossed around on TLS all the time -- that there are 45,000 law grads per year and only 30,000 new legal jobs per year. Is that figure still accurate? And if so, how many of those 30k are going to 1-3 year attorneys who have been laid off recently?

Doesn't this really mean that fewer than 1/3 of us will get a legal job? Times have certainly changed...my brother graduated bottom of his class from a TTT in 2007, and even he found a 45k attorney position.

1. I've heard that number many times too, but I dunno where it comes from. I think it may be outdated.
2. How does 30,000 out of 45,000 come out to be less than 1/3?
3. There are always outliers, such as your brother. A lot of getting a legal job is good grades and having a good name on the JD. But a lot of it is made up of intangible factors like who you know, how likeable you are, how well you network, being in the right place at the right time, etc.

Also keep in mind that the overwhelming number of people without any sort of legal job at all are going to be lower-tier students. This isn't to say that things are peachy in the first tier, T20, T10, etc., but it makes a big difference in talking about employment because it skews things dramatically.


More than half of the CO 2011 at Wisconsin doesn't have anything lined up. So, unless "everything below T14" is "lower-tier," well... yeah.

Granted, things are improving for later classes, but not dramatically, heh.

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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby Fark-o-vision » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:06 am

Part of TLS's overreaction to the bad economy is based on the belief that legal hiring is supposed to be easy. It seems that at one point tier 1=job before graduation. That doesn't seem to be the case any longer. Also, I wouldn't say that it equals 1/3 of graduates because the number your citing were growth rate statistics, meaning that the market would "grow" by that number of jobs. Of course, predictors aren't entirely accurate--that's another discussion--but wasn't saying that there were 30K new legal jobs a year, it was saying that the legal market was growing by thirty thousand jobs a year. When you live in an economic model built on rapid expansion, that isn't all that great.

But it isn't the gloom and doom that you see around here. I have a friend who went to UCLA and is unemployed and he sounds a lot like your brother. Didn't apply aggressively or creatively. Had a single resume that he sent everyone. although he claims he sent out hundreds of resumes, all I ever see him do is lay around his parents house. I used to work with a guy who went to Loyola, graduated "about" middle of his class (seemed rude to push for a specific place, if h e even knows it. Some schools don't outright tell you, I guess) and now he has a good job working in a legal-related business position for a movie studio. I haven't asked him for his pay stub to check his actual salary, but I can say that he seems relieved, loves his work and isn't looking to move on.

Both of those are anecdotes, but thats really about all we have around here to go on. In the end, it seems like there are jobs around, but maybe not the ones you would have gotten five years ago and probably not the kind you'll have squared away day one. you may even have to pass the bar before anyone will give you something substantial. These changes mean that lawyers are still young, educated individuals who are competitive in the market, but salaries might not be quite what they were. Debt and rank become increasingly important, IMO.

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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:26 am

Fark-o-vision wrote:Part of TLS's overreaction to the bad economy is based on the belief that legal hiring is supposed to be easy.

If you spend three years and this kind of money to go to a decent law school, you should be able to be a lawyer. Especially if you go to a respectable school.

I think med school students would be pretty pissed too if they spent all that time and money and couldn't be a doctor.

2LLLL
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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby 2LLLL » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:18 pm

If you spend three years and this kind of money to go to a decent law school, you should be able to be a lawyer. Especially if you go to a respectable school.

I think med school students would be pretty pissed too if they spent all that time and money and couldn't be a doctor.





Especially if the school, US News, NALP, etc... told them that 90+% of students are employed after graduation

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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby thexfactor » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:24 pm

romothesavior wrote:
Fark-o-vision wrote:Part of TLS's overreaction to the bad economy is based on the belief that legal hiring is supposed to be easy.

If you spend three years and this kind of money to go to a decent law school, you should be able to be a lawyer. Especially if you go to a respectable school.

I think med school students would be pretty pissed too if they spent all that time and money and couldn't be a doctor.



sigh should of went to med school in the carribbean.........

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General Tso
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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby General Tso » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:43 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:More than half of the CO 2011 at Wisconsin doesn't have anything lined up. So, unless "everything below T14" is "lower-tier," well... yeah.


I think the same is generally true at Hastings. The job outlook seems to be getting worse even though the economy has stabilized.

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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby Fark-o-vision » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:26 pm

romothesavior wrote:
Fark-o-vision wrote:Part of TLS's overreaction to the bad economy is based on the belief that legal hiring is supposed to be easy.

If you spend three years and this kind of money to go to a decent law school, you should be able to be a lawyer. Especially if you go to a respectable school.

I think med school students would be pretty pissed too if they spent all that time and money and couldn't be a doctor.


And I think most still can, especially those in the top tier, and moreover for those in the top 25. Just maybe not the kind of lawyer you thought you would be, and that's all right. If you really want to work in a very hard to manage field, you need to 1) prepare for defeat and line up back-up options and 2) manage debt load. The analogy to medical school is false--they are two different, unrelated fields and although people who should be advocating for students are instead lying to them, you would have to be a fool to not understand the medical field generally better career options. Besides, many medical students are unable to attain the residency or specialty they desire, but they're still doctors. Lawyers unable to obtain biglaw jobs are still lawyers.

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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby rayiner » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:41 pm

The 30,000 figure comes from this article: http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 7904889498, specifically this figure:

Image

Note this article is from April 2008, meaning the data is for C/O 2007. Ie: the height of the boom, before biglaw cut its hiring in half, before small firms cut hiring to zero, before cash-strapped state and local governments instituted hiring freezes, etc.

69% of graduates get a job in an NLJ250 firm, a small firm, a clerkship, government, or public interest. The government/public interest categories aren't necessary legal jobs, but are probably on the whole legal jobs (not necessarily paying). The other categories, business and academia are a joke. Business = Starbucks barista.

So yeah, roughly about 30,000 jobs for 45,000 graduates, during the boom.

Now... one of my friends is interested in the Cook County (Chicago) PD's office and was informed that they had an entire pile of Harvard/Yale resumes to look through and recruiting season hasn't even started. PD, DA jobs are insanely competitive right now. They've always been competitive in major cities, because they're considered prestigious PI, but even in bumfuck areas they make you eligible for 10-year PI loan forgiveness. As for small firms, they're hurting in the recession and just not hiring.

So if you think you'll just fall into a small firm or PD job if you don't get biglaw...

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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby rayiner » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:43 pm

Fark-o-vision wrote: Besides, many medical students are unable to attain the residency or specialty they desire, but they're still doctors. Lawyers unable to obtain biglaw jobs are still lawyers.


Doctors unable to get their chosen residency still get to practice medicine, and are thus doctors. Lawyers unable to get a legal job don't get to practice law, and are thus not lawyers.

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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:32 pm

rayiner wrote:
Fark-o-vision wrote: Besides, many medical students are unable to attain the residency or specialty they desire, but they're still doctors. Lawyers unable to obtain biglaw jobs are still lawyers.


Doctors unable to get their chosen residency still get to practice medicine, and are thus doctors. Lawyers unable to get a legal job don't get to practice law, and are thus not lawyers.


Lawyers can work for themselves and be a lawyer...

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rayiner
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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby rayiner » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:33 pm

General Tso wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
General Tso wrote:You see this figure tossed around on TLS all the time -- that there are 45,000 law grads per year and only 30,000 new legal jobs per year. Is that figure still accurate? And if so, how many of those 30k are going to 1-3 year attorneys who have been laid off recently?

Doesn't this really mean that fewer than 1/3 of us will get a legal job? Times have certainly changed...my brother graduated bottom of his class from a TTT in 2007, and even he found a 45k attorney position.

1. I've heard that number many times too, but I dunno where it comes from. I think it may be outdated.
2. How does 30,000 out of 45,000 come out to be less than 1/3?
3. There are always outliers, such as your brother. A lot of getting a legal job is good grades and having a good name on the JD. But a lot of it is made up of intangible factors like who you know, how likeable you are, how well you network, being in the right place at the right time, etc.

Also keep in mind that the overwhelming number of people without any sort of legal job at all are going to be lower-tier students. This isn't to say that things are peachy in the first tier, T20, T10, etc., but it makes a big difference in talking about employment because it skews things dramatically.


I don't think my brother is an outlier. I think it was really easy to get a job back then. In my own experience I went to 4 interviews in my senior year (2007) and I got 3 offers. I likely would have gotten the 4th but I was unwilling to move to that city.

My brother is a total slacker, didn't study, didn't aggressively apply for jobs. He started out working with a solo pract. eating what he could kill, then worked at one government agency and then another (his current job).

about the 30 out of 45 = 1/3 -- I am assuming that many of the 30k new jobs are being taken by the glut of unemployed attorneys with 1-5 years of experience. My gut feeling is that things are even worse now than they were in the last 2 years, due in large part to the fact that firms can hire people with experience at entry level salaries. My summer firm saw many T14, biglaw cast offs applying for a 50k small firm job.

I am not so sure that being shut out of the legal industry is limited to lower tier students. At my lower T1 I am getting the sense that very few people are landing legal jobs.


The 30,000 jobs is a measure of new entry level positions obtained by tracking the jobs taken by graduating classes. Entry-level jobs filled by previous graduates are already accounted for.

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rayiner
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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby rayiner » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:33 pm

worldtraveler wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Fark-o-vision wrote: Besides, many medical students are unable to attain the residency or specialty they desire, but they're still doctors. Lawyers unable to obtain biglaw jobs are still lawyers.


Doctors unable to get their chosen residency still get to practice medicine, and are thus doctors. Lawyers unable to get a legal job don't get to practice law, and are thus not lawyers.


Lawyers can work for themselves and be a lawyer...


Would you trust a doctor who hadn't done a residency?

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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby JazzOne » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:41 pm

General Tso wrote:You see this figure tossed around on TLS all the time -- that there are 45,000 law grads per year and only 30,000 new legal jobs per year. Is that figure still accurate? And if so, how many of those 30k are going to 1-3 year attorneys who have been laid off recently?

Doesn't this really mean that fewer than 1/3 of us will get a legal job? Times have certainly changed...my brother graduated bottom of his class from a TTT in 2007, and even he found a 45k attorney position.

I'd be shocked if there were 30,000 legal jobs for my graduating class.

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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby General Tso » Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:48 pm

rayiner wrote:So if you think you'll just fall into a small firm or PD job if you don't get biglaw...


what do you do then? scrape by as solo practitioner for 5-7 years until the legal job market bounces back?

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rayiner
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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby rayiner » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:48 pm

General Tso wrote:
rayiner wrote:So if you think you'll just fall into a small firm or PD job if you don't get biglaw...


what do you do then? scrape by as solo practitioner for 5-7 years until the legal job market bounces back?


How many fresh law school grads with zero skills do you think can hack it as a solo practitioner?

A few people will find small firm jobs, PI in low-demand places, etc, but most will leave the law entirely. They'll find jobs they could have gotten with just their BA, just like people with BAs often find jobs they could've gotten with just their high school diploma.

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General Tso
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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby General Tso » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:42 pm

rayiner wrote:How many fresh law school grads with zero skills do you think can hack it as a solo practitioner?


I am pretty sure I can. I know my way around a law library and a practitioner's guide.

Have some pretty good marketing ideas too.

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romothesavior
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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:51 pm

General Tso wrote:
rayiner wrote:How many fresh law school grads with zero skills do you think can hack it as a solo practitioner?


I am pretty sure I can. I know my way around a law library and a practitioner's guide.

Have some pretty good marketing ideas too.

Here's the thing about being a solo. I disagree that your average grad couldn't hack it in terms of the work... lots of fresh grads have started successful (or at least financially viable) law firms for decades. It is hard and you have to learn on your feet, but if you find older attorneys to help you and give you advice (which most will do), it is possible to handle the skills.

The issue is picking up clients. Small law firms and solo practitioners are a dime a dozen, especially nowadays, and many grads have no idea how to build a clientele.

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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:05 am

General Tso wrote:
rayiner wrote:How many fresh law school grads with zero skills do you think can hack it as a solo practitioner?


I am pretty sure I can. I know my way around a law library and a practitioner's guide.

Have some pretty good marketing ideas too.


Have fun paying for all of the overhead (research costs, malpractice insurance costs, virtual office aren't allowed in all states so rent, etc) as one of a bajillion solo pracs.

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General Tso
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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby General Tso » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:17 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
General Tso wrote:
rayiner wrote:How many fresh law school grads with zero skills do you think can hack it as a solo practitioner?


I am pretty sure I can. I know my way around a law library and a practitioner's guide.

Have some pretty good marketing ideas too.


Have fun paying for all of the overhead (research costs, malpractice insurance costs, virtual office aren't allowed in all states so rent, etc) as one of a bajillion solo pracs.


1. law libraries are free
2. malpractice insurance is around $7,000 per year
3. my state allows virtual office
4. don't need a paralegal at first
5. loan payments will be ~$700 per month
6. SO can pay rent, bills

I'd probably need to make 20-25k just to break even. Not great, but better than being Corsair'd.

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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:31 pm

Corsair'd?

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Re: 30,000 legal jobs per year?

Postby JazzOne » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:53 pm

General Tso wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
General Tso wrote:
rayiner wrote:How many fresh law school grads with zero skills do you think can hack it as a solo practitioner?


I am pretty sure I can. I know my way around a law library and a practitioner's guide.

Have some pretty good marketing ideas too.


Have fun paying for all of the overhead (research costs, malpractice insurance costs, virtual office aren't allowed in all states so rent, etc) as one of a bajillion solo pracs.


1. law libraries are free
2. malpractice insurance is around $7,000 per year
3. my state allows virtual office
4. don't need a paralegal at first
5. loan payments will be ~$700 per month
6. SO can pay rent, bills

I'd probably need to make 20-25k just to break even. Not great, but better than being Corsair'd.

Good luck, man. I don't think it's a good idea, but you've got some balls.




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