It was Bad Week for …
The Class of 2011, after NALP reported that employment rates for recent graduates were at an 18-year low.
The employment rate for new law graduates is 85.6 percent, the lowest since 1994. Less than half of students found jobs in private practice and less than 66 percent of recent graduates were employed in jobs that require bar membership, down 9 percent since 2008.
This means that one third of graduates are either in jobs that don’t require a law degree, back in school, or unemployed. For those who are employed, many graduates turned to part-time work, with about 12 percent of graduates are working less than full time. Even worse, about 7 percent of the part-time jobs were temporary, with many of them funded by law schools.
Honesty about diversity, after Elizabeth Warren’s Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts has shed light on the claims of law students to be a Native American.
Warren, who is 1/32 Native American, backtracked last week from earlier comments she made denying knowledge that her employer, Harvard Law School, had cited her as a minority faculty member. Warren conceded that she had told Harvard that she was Native American, but only after she had been hired by the school. The Boston Globe reported that Warren did not claim minority status on her applications to college and law school.
The affair brings attention to a 2011 resolution by the Coalition of Bar Associations of Color condemning "fraudulent self-identification as Native American on applications for higher education." The resolution cited the fraudulent act as “pervasive,” noting that between 1990 and 2000, although about 2,500 Native American students graduated from accredited U.S. law schools, only 228 Native American lawyers joined the profession nationwide according to the U.S. Census.
The drastic disparity leaves doubts about the accuracy of Native American claims on law school applications, which are often more attractive to law schools that are desperate to increase their diversity rate.