The Current Legal Job Market

Last week a Wall Street Journal front-page article created quite a stir. The story addressed the current state of the legal job market and the disparity in salary and opportunities between those who attend top-ranked law schools and those that attend lower-ranked law schools. Having not attended a top-ranked law school (usually meaning top 14), I can speak as to the validity of the article from personal experience. The legal job market in this country is not doing as robust and attractive as one might think, despite the constant litigation and ongoing business deals. There is this notion still floating around college campuses that law school will keep your options open if you are not sure what to do with your life. I find this belief to be untrue and a bit deceiving for the most part. Sure, many people with law degrees do something unrelated to the law eventually, but that is largely because they have practiced law, hated it, and turned to something else for the sake of their sanity. For these people, their previous experience with the law helped land them a position in a field they wanted to be in. Had those same people tried to get that same dream job out of law school, most would have been unsuccessful. The bottom line is that if you do not want to be a lawyer or have no desire to practice law for some of your career, do not go to law school. It does not keep your options open.

Like many law students, I was a liberal arts major with little work experience and no natural ability to excel in math or science. Thus, law school seemed like the right choice for me at the time. Looking back, I was naive in my approach and was not aware of sites and comments such as these. It is not coincidental that of the many people who receive joint JD-MBA degrees, most of them choose to enter the business world as opposed to the legal world. Yet, despite the dark side of the legal job market, I have turned out okay. I have no complaints, but more and more I am contemplating leaving the law in search for that dream job unrelated to the practice of law. And yes, that dream job in mind is one I would not have been able to obtain had I not gone to law school. Nothing short of ironic, huh? 


2 Responses

  1. […] The Current Legal Job Market […]

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