Anyone looking for signs of a real recovery in the legal job market will find cold comfort in the latest findings by NALP. Based on a survey of 192 ABA-accredited law schools, the report tracks about 41,000 graduates (about 93 percent of all U.S. law graduates) from the class of 2009.
"The overall employment rate for those bushy-tailed '09 graduates was 88.3 percent as of mid-February, which is down from a 91.9 percent employment rate at the same stage after graduation for the class of 2007," reports The Am Law Daily about NALP's latest data. The Am Law Daily adds that the 88.3 percent figure was better than what many in the legal industry had expected, given the dire predictions about the economy.
So what's the bad news? Many of those jobs are actually temporary, according to NALP, including 41 percent of all public interest jobs. In fact, 25 percent of all jobs reported to NALP are temporary.
A quarter of the class of 2009 parked in temporary positions? That's sobering. The real test of the market, as The Am Law Daily correctly pointed out, will occur when those temporary jobs come to an end. It's hard to believe that the market can absorb those lawyers, plus the new crop that's graduating.
Are you or your classmates looking for permanent employment? How is it going?
If you have topics you'd like to discuss, or information to share for The Careerist, e-mail lead writer Vivia Chen at VChen@alm.com.