It’s probably not a huge surprise that starting salaries dropped substantially for the Class of ’10 law grads nationwide, according to the National Association for Law Placement. The median starting salary for new law school grads dropped almost a whopping 13 percent, according to research recently released by NALP. The mean salary fell approximately 10 percent according to the NALP report.
There are a few small bright spots in a still somewhat dismal job market for lawyers, according to NALP Executive Director James Leipold. Technology, healthcare, and regulatory work are some practice areas showing signs of recent growth, Leipold commented recently at the Northeast Association for Pre-Law Advisors. While the entry-level market is still tough, the lateral market seems to be picking up steam, according to Leipold. California and New York have shown signs of bouncing back first in the lateral market.
Employment for recent law school grads is at its lowest rate in fifteen years, and employment at jobs requiring bar passage is at its lowest rate ever, according to the NALP Employment Report and Salary Survey for the class of 2010 released on June 1. The survey also reported data on part-time, temporary, and non-legal jobs figures that cast the overall employment rate in an even more negative light.
So you earned top grades, survived the interviews, and landed that coveted summer associate position. Now all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the expensive lunches, attend the after-work social events, and accompany the partners on that out of town trip, right?
Not so fast, cautions Aretha Blake, director of the Center for Professional Development at Charlotte School of Law. Many aspects of legal employment have changed in the face of economic hard times, and summer associate programs are also not exempt from cutbacks.
The nation’s law firms still value diversity, even if they are investing fewer resources into it, according to a recent survey of diversity professionals conducted by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, Inc. and the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals.
Data has long been available on the number of students who work at clerkships. But for the first time, U.S. News & World report has gathered and released data on the percent of students from each school that land a coveted Federal clerkship.
Not surprisingly, Yale tops the list with 27 percent, followed by Stanford University (24 percent) and Harvard. Then the list gets interesting:
University of Washington 18%
Law firms get a D- for transparency in decision-making, according to a recent report by Vault.
Vault recently surveyed 16,000 associates at 350 law firms for its annual survey, and for the first time asked about transparency.
Last week alone, the Securities Exchange Commission announced a series of allegations against both companies and lawyers: Johnson & Johnson for bribery; GunnAllen Financial, Inc. for failing to protect confidential customer information; and attorney Matthew H. Fruger for illegal insider trading while employed by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. And who could forget the recent media assault on actions by corporate lawyers for Chevron and Goldman Sachs?
There seems to be a lot of talk around the nation about rainy days. Unfortunately, that’s not in reference to the weather.
The month of February saw a 154 percent increase in job cuts, with the largest portion of employee layoffs from government and non-profit employers who announced 16,380 job cuts, according to a March report from consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
The legal sector lost 618 although the firm could not confirm how many of the government layoffs included attorneys.
Hiring in the legal field should remain strong in the second quarter of 2011, new research suggests. Twenty-nine percent of lawyers interviewed for the quarterly Robert Half Legal Hiring Index plan to add legal staff in the next three months and none plan reductions in personnel. The net increase in hiring activity is down one point from the first-quarter forecast.