January 01, 2013

The Chair's Corner: Helping Recent Graduates

Benes Z. Aldana

As sole practitioners and small firm attorneys, we may find it very easy to overlook the impact that the economy is having beyond our own law practices. In times of economic crisis, we hunker down and do what we need to do in order to stay afloat. In line with the Division’s theme this year to Think Forward, it is important that we all recognize what impact the economic downturn is having on new law graduates. Data from the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) shows the overall employment rate for the Class of 2011 was 85.6 percent, the lowest rate since 1994, continuing a decline that started in 2008. Under half (49.5 percent) of employed graduates obtained a job in private practice, a drop from 50.9 percent for the Class of 2010. In the 25 years prior to that, the percentage of jobs in law firms had ranged from roughly 54 to 64 percent.

 

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