Friday, February 3, 2012

Good news: Legal services industry adds 100 jobs in 2011

The BLS January jobs report is out, which reveals that, between January of 2011 and last month, the legal services sector in the U.S. grew from 1,116,500 jobs to 1,116,600 positions nationwide.  Now it's true that the sector includes a lot of non-attorney positions, but on the other hand there's no law that says an attorney can't work as a paralegal or an administrative support person (On the third hand there are a lot of employers who refuse as a matter of policy to consider people with JDs for non-JD-required legal positions).  So while not all 100 of those jobs went to previously unemployed law graduates, we can be pretty sure several dozen of them did.

Fortunately, the inherent flexibility  (h/t Nando) of a law degree ensures that if you're not among the lucky people who got one of the approximately one to two new jobs for lawyers that were created per week in the United States last year, you still have a veritable cornucopia, as Howard Cosell (an NYU Law Review alumnus) used to say, of alternative careers, including broadcast journalism, real estate speculation, founding an on-line dating site,  or an off-line one, becoming a best-selling novelist, or, if all else fails, President of the United States.

In the words of Shawn P. O'Connor, Esq., "the unique paths taken by these graduates reinforce the versatility of a law degree, which brings with it a plethora of marketable skills."

31 comments:

  1. Thanks, professor. It is clear that Shawn P. O'Connor has a direct financial stake in making sure that tons of people continue to register with LSAC, apply to, and enroll in law school. As a Harvard law and business school graduate, he is AWARE of the shrinking job market. This makes his conduct disgusting. The fact that US "News" & World Report would give this man space on their site shows that they don't give a damn about law school applicants.

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  2. Here are some more occupations emphasizing the versatility of the JD:

    http://www.jdunderground.com/jdu/thread.php?threadId=23763

    I'm the guy working in the bookstore. Others in the thread are not so lucky.

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  3. That was enlightening. Scrub, that link you posted is terrifying.

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  4. lol. great headline.

    On that note, terrified law student your blog is hilarious and seriously underrated. please advertise it more and keep it up.

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  5. Terrified Law Student, if The Scrub's link was your first venture into JDU territory, I gotta warn you, that's just the tip of the tip of the iceberg.

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  6. @ Cowgod

    Yeah, as far as JDU threads go, that one is pretty tame.

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  7. The US News bit written by Shawn P. O'Connor has no comments. How is that possible? It's been up for days and linked to in several places.

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  8. Law prof, correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that on page 33 near the bottom the the number(seasonally adjusted) is 1.0. This chart is in the thousands, not hundreds, so the number of law jobs added was 1,000.

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  9. The sarcasm from this Lawprof post is just delicious.

    " if you're not among the lucky people who got one of the approximately one to two new jobs for lawyers that were created per week in the United States last year ..."

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  10. It's 1,000 more than December. It's 100 more than the previous January.

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  11. Why do people think the word "plethora" makes them sound smart?

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  12. Lawprof - please add the social sharing buttons to your blog so we can email your articles to those we love, such as law deans, for instance.

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  13. Interesting panel

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2012/2/2/law-school-panel-problems/

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  14. It's just basic supply and demand. I don't understand why the schools have trouble with such a simple concept.

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  15. I sent this to my mom(who is begging me to go to law school) This is her response: "It could change in 3 years....Stay positive!"

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  16. Wow, a 0.00008% growth in persons engaged in the US legal employment in 2011!

    For those inclined to mock, consider that it is the second best annual growth rate since 2002.

    http://lawschooltuitionbubble.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/annual-change-persons-engd-fte-emps.png

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  17. I recall seeing classified ads for paralegal positions in the New York area, and it was clearly stated in the ad: "No JD's"

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  18. "It could change in 3 years....Stay positive!"

    What the hell is wrong with your mom? "Stay positive" is something you say to someone who has zero choice about their perilous situation, i.e. they have no ability to leave it. If they have such ability, you don't tell them to stay positive. You tell them to run.

    Next time she tells you to stay positive, ask her to cosign your loans.

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  19. That's great. Even law schools will benefit from this as they will have more enrollees interested in practicing law. This will make legal services accessible for all those in need.

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  20. That's a great news for all court reporting agency all over the US. I appreciate that so much!

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  21. The reason the ads for paralegals say "no JDs" is probably because they would feel threatened by an attorney coming into a paralegal position at their firm; they would worry that the attorney/paralegal would eventually try to steal someone's lawyer job. If anything, having a JD should be a major selling point for a paralegal position.

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  22. Oh - and no, the job outlook for lawyers won't change when the economy rebounds. The poor employment prospects for lawyers existed prior to the current recession. In fact, in the early 1990s it started getting really tough for lawyers to find jobs. Many of them started branching off on their own, and gave up trying to find work with a firm.

    Getting out of school with over 100K of debt is just not worth being able to say "I'm an attorney". Anyway, the status and prestige of this career no longer exists.

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  23. Oh - and no, the job outlook for lawyers won't change when the economy rebounds. The poor employment prospects for lawyers existed prior to the current recession. In fact, in the early 1990s it started getting really tough for lawyers to find jobs. Many of them started branching off on their own, and gave up trying to find work with a firm.

    Getting out of school with over 100K of debt is just not worth being able to say "I'm an attorney". Anyway, the status and prestige of this career no longer exists.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh - and no, the job outlook for lawyers won't change when the economy rebounds. The poor employment prospects for lawyers existed prior to the current recession. In fact, in the early 1990s it started getting really tough for lawyers to find jobs. Many of them started branching off on their own, and gave up trying to find work with a firm.

    Getting out of school with over 100K of debt is just not worth being able to say "I'm an attorney". Anyway, the status and prestige of this career no longer exists.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh - and no, the job outlook for lawyers won't change when the economy rebounds. The poor employment prospects for lawyers existed prior to the current recession. In fact, in the early 1990s it started getting really tough for lawyers to find jobs. Many of them started branching off on their own, and gave up trying to find work with a firm.

    Getting out of school with over 100K of debt is just not worth being able to say "I'm an attorney". Anyway, the status and prestige of this career no longer exists.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh - and no, the job outlook for lawyers won't change when the economy rebounds. The poor employment prospects for lawyers existed prior to the current recession. In fact, in the early 1990s it started getting really tough for lawyers to find jobs. Many of them started branching off on their own, and gave up trying to find work with a firm.

    Getting out of school with over 100K of debt is just not worth being able to say "I'm an attorney". Anyway, the status and prestige of this career no longer exists.

    ReplyDelete
  27. It's been a year since this was implemented. I wonder how the things are going on now. Well, according to the statistics you've shown, I would hazard a guess that those individual are quite satisfied for landing a stable job. It's amazing that even the law sector is also taking part in easing the recession crisis.

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  28. Your blog is really useful for many people I think. Because many times I have found the useful information which was really important for me.

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  29. Thanks for sharing this latest news about lawyers job. Its good opportunity for the lawyers grab it guys.
    Orange County Bail Bonds

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  30. Its good to hear that for forthcoming law graduates.

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