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Turns Out An Art Degree is a Better Career Move Than Law School

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

Blasphemous. An art grad has better job prospects than a law grad?

According to a survey, someone holding a Masters in Art is 86% likely to be employed. In contrast, a law grad is only 55% likely to be employed in a law-related field, as indicated in a law grads employment survey.

Is it too late to trade the gavel for a paint brush?

The law grads employment survey is interesting as it's one of the first employment studies that actually looks at whether law grads enter the legal field, reports Forbes. Previously, and controversially, law schools would employ statistics that looked at all employment data for law grads.

So if you graduated and ended up working at Starbucks, you counted as positive employment data as far as law schools were concerned.

In this new study, only those employed full time as attorneys counted. Along with the depressing 55% employment rate, it was also shown that starting salaries for those lucky few who got a law job is at its lowest in years. Starting lawyer salaries fell $9,000 between 2009 and 2010, reports Forbes.

This may be due to the fact that Big Law is not hiring. Only 8% of 2011 grads ended up working at a firm with 250 or more lawyers. And it's probably a safe bet that 99% of that 8% went to law school at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc.

So where does that leave young attorneys and those contemplating law school who won't have Harvard on their resume? Well, according to Strategic National Arts Alumni Project's 2012 Annual Report, art school may be the answer. Art grads have half the unemployment rate to the national average, while those with a master's degree in art are almost assured work. The same can't be said for law grads employment prospects.

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