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May 28, 2014


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PT Barnum was correct.

If you think SoCal is saturated, you should see Philadelphia.


Isn't this what the critics want - new lower cost entrants?


Anon: "Isn't this what the critics want - new lower cost entrants?"

The point which has been made clearly and repeatedly is that with the current overproduction of lawyers, people going to law school are facing very, very bad odds.


And yet, according to the BLS, the median pay and the number of lawyers employed has increased every year for the last ten (2004-2013) except for a small dip in the employment number from 2007 to 2008.

In 2004 there were 521,130 lawyers earning a median income of $108,790.

In 2013 there were 592,670 lawyers earning $131,990 on average.

Looks like a pretty robust occupation to me.

Camilla Highwater

". . . the number of lawyers employed has increased every year for the last ten . . . "

The number of law school graduates unemployed or unable to find work as lawyers has increased at a much faster rate, however.


Actually figures provided here by Dan Filler indicate first year enrollment has been quite volatile, declining for the first three years of this ten year period, then increasing for one year slightly, decreasing again the following year, increasing for the next three years and then fell again in the final year (2012-13).

The total employment of lawyers increased by more than 71,000 during that time frame while the net gain of first years has been negative. And even if you throw out the last two years it is well below the increase in employment.

Perhaps I am missing something in the BLS numbers? But if anything they undercount since they don't seem to include sole practitioners.


Anon, are you going to address the wholes blown in your argument?


If supply does in fact exceed demand then the market will correct itself. Given the significant drop in test takers, applicants and enrollment that process seems to be well underway. Meanwhile the profession itself remains quite healthy and seems to have weathered the recent economic downturn quite handily - the steady increase in employment and incomes suggest the sharp ups and downs in enrollment are a function of different variable.

I did think of one possible explanation for the apparent disconnect between improved employment/incomes as opposed to the idea that recent JDs have had trouble finding employment. Since the BLS figures do not seem to include sole practitioners (and I am not actually certain that is the case), if that category was impacted more heavily than lawyers working for others then it might explain the oversupply problem. But I gather that the debate here has never focused heavily on solo practitioners (although I think they still make up nearly half the profession).

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