How bad is the legal job market?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:06 pm

NinerFan wrote:If you trust what the law schools say, a 2/3 figure is consistent to what the schools are reporting. Virginia's data is deceiving because they lump together classes 08-10, which I'm sure we can agree is going to be off. Props to Michigan for being much more discerning in breaking down where people end up in terms of # of attorneys per office, which is a good way to generalize whether they're at a "good" law firm or not. Penn is hard to tell as well because they don't offer anything more specific than "law firm"


Putting aside the questionable supposition, what do these numbers actually show for c/o 2010?

180 students from Michigan end up at firms of 100 or more attorneys. That's a bit of a stretch for "biglaw" but we'll suppose that most of them pay market and the ones that don't offset by a few boutiques that are small but do pay market. It also, tacitly, assumes that all of them are there in associate positions. I actually would not assume that this is the case. Even if all those clerkships are Art. III, that means that 60% of the class of 2010 ended up at midlaw, biglaw and clerkships - using very generous definitions for the above. Wait until you start seeing data for c/o 2011.


Not that it's on point, but if you add up all the different categories for c/o 2010, you'll notice that 37 people, ten percent of the class, are not in any category. That is to say, that even 9 months after graduation, ten percent of the class is not employed.

User avatar
kapital98
Posts: 1188
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:58 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby kapital98 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:17 pm

Grizz wrote:

Definitely something like this:

--ImageRemoved--


This is awesome.

How long will these threads continue to pop up?

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby IAFG » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:20 pm

Seems a little... dumb... to look at c/o 2010 (the year of the rescinded offers and no-offers) & 2011 (still ugly) data. That was the absolute low point and by all accounts, things have improved.

User avatar
NinerFan
Posts: 482
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby NinerFan » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:26 pm

IAFG wrote:Seems a little... dumb... to look at c/o 2010 (the year of the rescinded offers and no-offers) & 2011 (still ugly) data. That was the absolute low point and by all accounts, things have improved.


There's no other data to look at, if you're talking about employment after law school. Heck, the class of 2011 data isn't even out yet because it hasn't been 9 months.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby IAFG » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:27 pm

NinerFan wrote:
IAFG wrote:Seems a little... dumb... to look at c/o 2010 (the year of the rescinded offers and no-offers) & 2011 (still ugly) data. That was the absolute low point and by all accounts, things have improved.


There's no other data to look at, if you're talking about employment after law school. Heck, the class of 2011 data isn't even out yet because it hasn't been 9 months.


Just because there isn't better data doesn't mean we should draw faulty conclusions based on the data we do have.

User avatar
FlanAl
Posts: 1474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby FlanAl » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:31 pm

ou have no idea what you're talking about. This may have been true four years ago. Today, maybe 2/3 are going into private practice and/or any clerkship. ~25% graduate without any job, dude.


Maybe I'm clueless but if 91% of chicago kids are getting good summer jobs I have a hard time believing that 25% of MVP of the same year will graduate unemployed.

User avatar
NinerFan
Posts: 482
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby NinerFan » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
NinerFan wrote:If you trust what the law schools say, a 2/3 figure is consistent to what the schools are reporting. Virginia's data is deceiving because they lump together classes 08-10, which I'm sure we can agree is going to be off. Props to Michigan for being much more discerning in breaking down where people end up in terms of # of attorneys per office, which is a good way to generalize whether they're at a "good" law firm or not. Penn is hard to tell as well because they don't offer anything more specific than "law firm"


Putting aside the questionable supposition, what do these numbers actually show for c/o 2010?

180 students from Michigan end up at firms of 100 or more attorneys. That's a bit of a stretch for "biglaw" but we'll suppose that most of them pay market and the ones that don't offset by a few boutiques that are small but do pay market. It also, tacitly, assumes that all of them are there in associate positions. I actually would not assume that this is the case. Even if all those clerkships are Art. III, that means that 60% of the class of 2010 ended up at midlaw, biglaw and clerkships - using very generous definitions for the above. Wait until you start seeing data for c/o 2011.


Not that it's on point, but if you add up all the different categories for c/o 2010, you'll notice that 37 people, ten percent of the class, are not in any category. That is to say, that even 9 months after graduation, ten percent of the class is not employed.


Yeah, 2/3 is probably too generous. 55-60% seems decent for biglaw/clerkships.

Overall, my guess is that at least 65-70% of kids at T14 schools are getting "good" employment- clerkships, non-shit law firms, government, public interest. Maybe even slightly higher? It's obviously hard to tell with limited and questionable data.

User avatar
FlanAl
Posts: 1474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby FlanAl » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:37 pm

for the class of 2011? or are you projecting for 2012?

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby IAFG » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:41 pm

NinerFan wrote:Yeah, 2/3 is probably too generous. 55-60% seems decent for biglaw/clerkships.

Overall, my guess is that at least 65-70% of kids at T14 schools are getting "good" employment- clerkships, non-shit law firms, government, public interest. Maybe even slightly higher? It's obviously hard to tell with limited and questionable data.

I think that is an accurate depiction of the past, and the future is a fair bit sunnier.

User avatar
NinerFan
Posts: 482
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby NinerFan » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:42 pm

FlanAl wrote:for the class of 2011? or are you projecting for 2012?



I was just looking at 2010 data. I didn't closely look at the data, though, I just did some rough estimates w/o the aid of a calculator. Regarding your chicago figures, it looks like at the end of that thread, it turns out to be 68% biglaw and another 12% in secondary biglaw positions.

User avatar
FlanAl
Posts: 1474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby FlanAl » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:45 pm

I'd still count secondary big law as a "good summer job" and that was for OCI in 2010 which the threads on this site made sound like a bloodbath.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:46 pm

IAFG wrote:
NinerFan wrote:
IAFG wrote:Seems a little... dumb... to look at c/o 2010 (the year of the rescinded offers and no-offers) & 2011 (still ugly) data. That was the absolute low point and by all accounts, things have improved.


There's no other data to look at, if you're talking about employment after law school. Heck, the class of 2011 data isn't even out yet because it hasn't been 9 months.


Just because there isn't better data doesn't mean we should draw faulty conclusions based on the data we do have.


It's rather important of you're class of 2011. Moreover, it speaks to what the job market actually is now, not what it might be in a couple years.



FlanAl wrote:
ou have no idea what you're talking about. This may have been true four years ago. Today, maybe 2/3 are going into private practice and/or any clerkship. ~25% graduate without any job, dude.


Maybe I'm clueless but if 91% of chicago kids are getting good summer jobs I have a hard time believing that 25% of MVP of the same year will graduate unemployed.


First, it's not the same year, but either way you'll believe whatever you want. You'll never see data that will convince you as it's not like these schools are going to say "Yes, about 100 of our graduates were not able to find a job before graduating." That said, I've asked several off my classmates with different social circles what they thought the unemployed at graduation rate for c/o 2011 was. The lowest estimate was 20%, the highest "over 1/3" with most saying 25-30%.

User avatar
FlanAl
Posts: 1474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby FlanAl » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:49 pm

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=163264
that data comes with names of students and names of firms. maybe the chicago kid made it all up for fun but it doesn't seem like some random data that their CSO just made up.

I realize that this is for a different year, OP is a 1L and the number of people in SA's a couple of months ago is probably more applicable than the hardest hit graduating class in recent memory.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby IAFG » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:51 pm

Also, there are around ~25 JD-MBAs at Northwestern every year, or around 10% of the class. Lots of those people don't do law, either for the summer or after graduating. Of the JD-MBAs in my section, I don't think any of them still wanted to do law after 1L. I know people summer in biglaw and then decline their offers after finding out what law is really like compared to their business alternatives. I assume that's common at UPenn, Harvard, CLS, and UVA too. That's going to make the NLJ250+clerkships numbers look worse than they really are.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby IAFG » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
IAFG wrote:
NinerFan wrote:
IAFG wrote:Seems a little... dumb... to look at c/o 2010 (the year of the rescinded offers and no-offers) & 2011 (still ugly) data. That was the absolute low point and by all accounts, things have improved.


There's no other data to look at, if you're talking about employment after law school. Heck, the class of 2011 data isn't even out yet because it hasn't been 9 months.


Just because there isn't better data doesn't mean we should draw faulty conclusions based on the data we do have.


It's rather important of you're class of 2011. Moreover, it speaks to what the job market actually is now, not what it might be in a couple years.


1) It could not be more irrelevant to someone who just graduated, since they already either landed or missed biglaw.
2) It speaks to what the job market was 2 years ago, not what it is now.

User avatar
FlanAl
Posts: 1474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby FlanAl » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:58 pm

I also think that chicago's ability to do well with a home market with very few SA spots means that schools like columbia probably fared better even though we don't have the same data for them. (yes chicago's small class size helps but there were only like 450 SA positions in chicago vs. 2,000 something in NY)

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby IAFG » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:07 pm

FlanAl wrote:I also think that chicago's ability to do well with a home market with very few SA spots means that schools like columbia probably fared better even though we don't have the same data for them. (yes chicago's small class size helps but there were only like 450 SA positions in chicago vs. 2,000 something in NY)

Am I the only one who wasn't super impressed with the UChi stats? 9% had nothing at all, and 91% had a some sort of firm or PI or Gov't, with 71.4% in NLJ250. Is this really so impressive?

User avatar
NinerFan
Posts: 482
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby NinerFan » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:10 pm

IAFG wrote:
FlanAl wrote:I also think that chicago's ability to do well with a home market with very few SA spots means that schools like columbia probably fared better even though we don't have the same data for them. (yes chicago's small class size helps but there were only like 450 SA positions in chicago vs. 2,000 something in NY)

Am I the only one who wasn't super impressed with the UChi stats? 9% had nothing at all, and 91% had a some sort of firm or PI or Gov't, with 71.4% in NLJ250. Is this really so impressive?


If the 80% number for biglaw/regional big-law is true, that's a nice number.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby IAFG » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:15 pm

NinerFan wrote:
IAFG wrote:
FlanAl wrote:I also think that chicago's ability to do well with a home market with very few SA spots means that schools like columbia probably fared better even though we don't have the same data for them. (yes chicago's small class size helps but there were only like 450 SA positions in chicago vs. 2,000 something in NY)

Am I the only one who wasn't super impressed with the UChi stats? 9% had nothing at all, and 91% had a some sort of firm or PI or Gov't, with 71.4% in NLJ250. Is this really so impressive?


If the 80% number for biglaw/regional big-law is true, that's a nice number.

I am not sure OP and I share a definition of "regional biglaw"

User avatar
FlanAl
Posts: 1474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby FlanAl » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:19 pm

i feel like I'm the only one impressed with them haha. since this was to help people going through OCI maybe the kids who had to work and "uncle's" small law office etc. weren't listed. 9% completely unemployed for summer is definitely not great but its not 25%. (or the if you don't get median you'll be unemployed tls schtick that is really prevalent)

User avatar
Julio_El_Chavo
Posts: 803
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:09 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:19 pm

Class of 2011 was a real outlier. It was an absolute shitshow, no other way to describe it. Take out 2011 and I'd say you still have 50-65% at MVP getting biglaw/article III clerkships, even ITE. This is based on info from my MVP's CSO for the class of 2012. 2/3 biglaw/art III is what future students can bank on, assuming Europe's financial system doesn't collapse.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby IAFG » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:24 pm

FlanAl wrote:i feel like I'm the only one impressed with them haha. since this was to help people going through OCI maybe the kids who had to work and "uncle's" small law office etc. weren't listed. 9% completely unemployed for summer is definitely not great but its not 25%. (or the if you don't get median you'll be unemployed tls schtick that is really prevalent)

I think exactly this was included and that OP may well have classified it as "regional biglaw." I really doubt even c/o 2011 had 25% unemployed for the summer.

All those Chicago kids who did PI or Gov't are almost certainly as unemployed at the end of that summer as the 9% who didn't do anything. Now they may well have something lined up by graduation, but I get the sense you're not comparing apples to apples here.

User avatar
NinerFan
Posts: 482
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby NinerFan » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:27 pm

IAFG wrote:
FlanAl wrote:i feel like I'm the only one impressed with them haha. since this was to help people going through OCI maybe the kids who had to work and "uncle's" small law office etc. weren't listed. 9% completely unemployed for summer is definitely not great but its not 25%. (or the if you don't get median you'll be unemployed tls schtick that is really prevalent)

I think exactly this was included and that OP may well have classified it as "regional biglaw." I really doubt even c/o 2011 had 25% unemployed for the summer.

All those Chicago kids who did PI or Gov't are almost certainly as unemployed at the end of that summer as the 9% who didn't do anything. Now they may well have something lined up by graduation, but I get the sense you're not comparing apples to apples here.


Supposedly, the people who went through the Chicago list and classified like this:

Next, I went through and checked the types of employers, sorting into three categories: 1) Biglaw 2) Big regional law (consistent traditional summer program) 3) Smaller/Unknown (if I couldn't find information that convinced me it was a high-paying regional firm, I put it in this category so that the numbers would be more likely to under-estimate rather than over-estimate the number of solid summer associate positions.)


And from there got the 68% and 80% numbers.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby IAFG » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:32 pm

I read that, but I also know that there are a lot of "kinds" of firms, and plenty have summer programs.

Still, my point remains, most schools would have their "firm employment" numbers skewed up if you only looked at summer work. Quite a few Chicago firms don't offer everyone. PI and Gov't offers essentially no one. Smaller firms often don't offer anyone.

User avatar
FlanAl
Posts: 1474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Re: How bad is the legal job market?

Postby FlanAl » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:33 pm

I'm just thinking one step at a time. OP's first step is to get an SA position and that outlook doesn't look too horrible. After that it isn't roses but it definitely isn't median or work for free the rest of your life. I definitely get what you're saying and am definitely still pessimistic but this is the only "hardish" data to work with and it really doesn't look as bad as some posters would have you believe. Also I'm not sure what to make of the section of that data that says "corporate" do you think that is just in-house or all the people who worked in business in general? I also wonder how kids who come to the states just for law school but leave to work at firms in their home countries are counted (obviously some of these firms are going to be nlj but obviously some of them aren't)

yeah I wasn't sure how guessing it was high paying "under-estimates" the number of high paying jobs.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.