Are Law Schools Producing Too Many Lawyers?

799px-ASU_Main_-_Barrett02_-_2009-08-28Arizona schools, specifically Arizona State University‚Äôs (ASU) law school are attacking the growing problem of today’s law school graduates who are in their fifth year of a close to depression level employment market and are having trouble finding work. Now ASU is planning on opening its own nonprofit law firm with the objective of keeping 30 recent graduates off unemployment lines. Law schools now offer public interest fellowships to help their most recent graduates in Maine colleges and options that include various law focused studies via programs in Wyoming, programs in Alaska, programs in Utah and others.

It wasn’t that long ago that law students were excelling and went on to earn lucrative incomes. In 2007 around 91% of law school graduates easily obtained jobs with salaries that were extremely rewarding. After the 2008 financial crises, the employment rate dropped and law occupations were difficult to find. In 2009, as little as 65.4% of the country’s law school graduates were able to find employment; once they passed the bar they either ended up without a job or working at minimum wage, a situation that was even made harder to handle if they had student loans that typically ranged from between $100,000 to $150,000.

To make things even more difficult to deal with, a lot of new lawyers are stuck doing monotonous, paperwork intensive contract jobs for as low as $25 an hour; not the lowest paying job but certainly not what they expected when they spent 3 years in Law school and $150,000 to get their degree; that being said things aren’t as grim as they look. Law schools including Maine colleges, Arizona law schools and other educational institutions across the country continue to attract students as the nation begins to see an upturn in the legal employment market. As the economy comes back which it appears to be doing, so will demand for lawyers and courses offered all over the nation including programs in Alaska, programs in Wyoming, programs in Utah and thriving metropolitan cities like New York/ We’ll get back to preparing the lawyers of tomorrow; lawyers that will have the opportunity to earn a good living based on only on their test scores but their efforts.

While there are pessimists out there that feel the market will never recover the fact is that we are recovering and there will always be a need for highly qualified lawyers. For those who have always dreamed of entering law school, it’s still a professional worth considering.