What Type of Jobs Can Law Grads Actually Expect?
There's no doubt that the legal job market is already saturated with experienced lawyers seeking jobs. For new law grads, this means that the competition for the jobs out there is rather fierce, especially for the "good jobs."
According to a recent survey detailed in the ABA Journal, when it comes to those "good jobs," less than half of recent law grads were able to get one right after graduation. Notably, the survey explained that over a quarter of recent law grads have to spend over a year to get a "good job."
From Grad to Bad Job
For recent grads (and the recently admitted) wanting to actually practice law, there are still a few options if the traditional entry level associate jobs are out of reach. Most young lawyers often don't feel comfortable opening up a solo practice, and/or soliciting other lawyers for contract work, although this is an entirely valid path to take that has resulted in success for countless other attorneys. It may not be a "good job," but you can squeeze out a living while gaining experience.
Newly minted lawyers setting out on their own can network and gain valuable experience through volunteer programs. Additionally, in some jurisdictions, you may be able to get referrals from a local bar association or the courts, either after showing competency or taking a specific course. Unfortunately, for inexperienced lawyers, taking this route may also often involve moonlighting outside the legal profession in order to make ends meet.
Non-Lawyer Lawyer Jobs
For law grads that aren't motivated by a personal desire to become litigators or trial attorneys, or even to practice law, the job market can still provide rather meaningful steady work (that can help you dig yourself out of that massive pile of debt).
As the ABA Journal explained, more than half of the law grads (55%) that are not practicing reported in the survey that they were thriving financially. Compare this to the fact that less than half (43%) of practicing lawyers reporting that they were thriving financially.
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