thesealocust wrote:Every year roughly 50,000 people graduate from law school.
Every year roughly 30,000 entry level legal jobs exist.
The employment rate for lawyers is tautologically high: people who stop being lawyers, or never become lawyers, aren't counted...
dingbat wrote:At all but 15 schools more than 1 out of every 4 students can't get a job as a lawyer
at 18 schools no more than 1 out of every 3 students is able to get a job
at only slightly more than half (104/198) of all law schools do more than half of all students get jobs
This is it in a nutshell. As sealocust points out, there are about 20,000 law grads each year that fall by the wayside and never seem to make it into the "lawyer club."
The "lawyer club" is comprised of the people that graduated and found a job at a somewhat well-regarded firm (or good gov't / PI job) right out of law school (or within about 6 months therof). If you don't get into the "lawyer club" things get ugly really really fast. The thing about the "lawyer club" (and I say this as a card-carrying member), is that everyone in it knows that the club can only be so large and the members will do whatever it takes to protect the current members (i.e. exclude those that did not gain admission to the club during the correct time period following LS graduation). We (the club members) all know that our ability to change jobs, continue getting raises and demand some perks all hinges on the fact that supply cannot be permitted to increase without checks. With 20,000 "extra" lawyers hanging around each year, that means making for damn sure that those extra lawyers don't accidentally sneak into the club after the correct enrollment period.
Op, you say you don't know any poor lawyers. I know lots of them. They are the ones that didn't get into the club and sadly, many of them (despite being licensed and holding a JD), do not even bother to aspire to legal employment after a certain point in time. Its pretty fucking sad actually.