Monday, October 03, 2011
The Poor Employment Market for Law Grads Predates the Recession
Two weeks ago I wrote a post about the remarkably high number of graduates of the class of 2009 who failed to obtain jobs as lawyers. When confronted with data like this, law schools respond that the dismal job placement rate is a recent phenomenon, a product of the current recession, suggesting that things were fine before and all will be well once again when the legal market rebounds. It’s wrong to isolate on and condemn law schools, they say, for results that reflect a historically bad time for jobs across the economy.
An excellent piece as usual, although perhaps the problems associated with the data set could have received higher billing.
Of course, with the ABA's recent changes, this kind of information will no longer be available going forward. This is problematic to say the least.
"Grads Employed at 9 Months with Job Requiring JD"
The operative terms being "job," "at," and "requiring."
Are jobs part-time or full-time?
How long did it take for grads to find jobs? Will they have jobs after nine months after graduation? For how long?
Do jobs that require JDs make substantial use of the knowledge and skills acquired in law school?
I have grave fears about the actual career-spans and attrition rates law degree-holders in legal positions have. This is why I don't see transparency as the end-all solution to law schools' problems. Although, I'm impressed that even NALP data, inaccurate as it is, can still falsify the belief that the backlog of graduates will have law jobs once the economy recovers.
So the supply of legal services has caught up with and surpassed demand.
Is this somehow controversial?
LSTB--thanks for reminding me--these numbers include part time positions (less than 35 hours a week). I do not have the break down for part time positions pre-2007. In recent years it ranges, at some schools, as high as 20 percent of JD required jobs are part time.
As all the comments suggest, the true results are below what these numbers suggest, yet it is bad enough even at inflated levels.
The mere fact, no.
That law schools continue to pretend otherwise in their employment reporting, yes.
Wow are you seriously deleting my comments where I explain how you are presenting misleading numbers that overstate the job placement out of law school by a factor of two? Exactly as I thought.
If anyone wants to read the critique of "wolf in sheep's clothing" Tamanaha's work see the comment in 2:29 here
Prof. Tamanaha wants you to believe that at T100 schools, 75% of the grads get jobs as lawyers (it's more like 33%) and that even at terrible law schools 50% get such jobs! The chart he keeps publishing presents a glowing image of law school job placement that is completely out of touch with reality. Prof. Tamanaha is a special kind of law school fraudster - the kind who presents fraud under the guise of criticizing it.
Just to let you know, I have never deleted comments in five years of writing on this blog. (I don't know how to delete comments, believe it or not, although I'm sure I could figure it out.) If your comment did not go up, something happened in the transmission.
You are right that the numbers I cite likely overstate the true job placement rate owing to reliance on self-reporting from law schools. The job situation is worse than these numbers indicate (as I indicate at the bottom of the post). But I can only work with the numbers that are available.
I doubt that readers see these numbers as a "glowing image of law school job placement." These numbers are very poor.
I have grave fears about the actual career-spans and attrition rates law degree-holders in legal positions have. This is why I don't see transparency as the end-all solution to law schools' problems.So the supply of legal services has caught up with and surpassed demand.
Your article has proven useful to me. It’s very informative and you are obviously very knowledgeable in this area. You have opened my eyes to varying views on this topic with interesting and solid content.
I have grave fears about the actual career-spans and attrition rates law degree-holders in legal positions have.
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Does this say supply is over than the demand?
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