"Members of the law-school class of 2011 had little better than a
50-50 shot of landing a job as a lawyer within nine months of receiving a
degree, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of new data that
provides the most detailed picture yet of the grim market for law jobs.
Under pressure from disillusioned graduates and some professors, the
American Bar Association for the first time released a tally of the
previous year's graduates who have secured full-time, permanent jobs as
lawyers. Until recently, the ABA required law schools to report only
general data about how their graduates fared, such as how many were
employed full-time or part-time in any kind of job, whether or not it
required a law degree.
The numbers suggest the job market for law grads is worse than
previously thought. Nationwide, only 55% of the class of 2011 had
full-time, long-term jobs that required a law degree nine months after
graduation. The ABA defines "long-term" jobs as those that don't have a
term of less than one year."
An interactive graphic
accompanies the article, and reveals that graduates of even some of the top law schools are having a hard time finding full-time work in jobs that require a law degree: less than 66% of the graduates from Georgetown Law (tuition of $50,000 per year) and only about 75% of the graduates from University of Michigan are employed in jobs that require a J.D. degree.
Interestingly, the word must be getting out that law school graduates can't find work - the number of students taking the LSAT this year fell to an 11-year low, see chart below.