Bleak Outlook for Law School Grads

Private practice employment hits thirty-five year low as law school graduates continue to struggle.


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Law school grads may be facing the worst job market in decades, according to the Association for Legal Career Professionals.

As of spring 2012, the employment rate for 2011 graduates stood at 85.6% – the lowest employment rate for recent grads since 1994. This couldn’t come at a worse time since the average law school debt has skyrocketed to approximately $100,000.

When it comes to private practice employment, only 49.5% of 2011 graduates have found jobs. Currently, 12% of grads indicate that they are neither working nor pursuing more schooling. Some estimates peg the actual number of full-time jobs that are available at 50% of the total law school graduates.

University of Colorado graduate, Erin Gilmer is feeling the pinch. “I have absolutely no credit anymore,” she told Business Insider in April. “I haven’t been able to pay loans. It’s scary, and it’s a hard thing to think you’re a lawyer but you’re impoverished. People don’t understand that most lawyers actually aren’t making the big money.”

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