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Law-Grad Nightmare: Only One Job For Every Two New Lawyers

Aspiring lawyers aren’t typically math geniuses, but I think most ought to be able to figure this one out. For every two new law school grads, there’s only one job opening in the current economy:

A recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal details the crisis (if you want to call fewer working lawyers a crisis):

There is a crisis in law-school education, but don’t expect the institutions to tell potential applicants about it. In short, there are far too many graduates for the number of jobs available, and the majority of those who get jobs are not being paid nearly enough to service their debt. …

I graduated in 2011 and am one of the “lucky” ones. Within six months of graduation I secured a job in my area of interest, international human rights. … In my case, although I found employment, my finances are precarious. With $169,000 in law-school debt and an annual salary of $55,000 (which is within the average range for a small firm), I cannot start paying off my debt in a responsible and timely manner, much less afford to have a wedding, start a family, buy a home, etc. …

One wishes that moral suasion would prompt law schools to alter their ways—admitting fewer students, making tuition less ruinous—but change is likely to come only through financial pressure when enrollment drops significantly. That day may not be far off. Given current conditions, prospective law-school students would be wise to start off the new year with a resolution to think twice about applying.

Moral suasion? Law schools? Ha ha ha.

All of you would-be lawyers out there should read carefully and, perhaps, change plans accordingly. While law degrees can sometimes open doors for you, debt can severely limit your options in life. Keep that in mind. You could beat the odds like the author of the above article. But consider the possibility that venturing into the legal field at this point in time is neither prudent nor likely to be fulfilling.

Via TaxProf Blog.

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