After a year of the lowest enrollment in decades, are law school admissions offices seeing the light at the end of the tunnel? Is the legal job market finally out of its rut?
Some say “yes” while others are saying no. It is a fact that many of the legal jobs that were around for years are not coming back, and gone forever. On the other hand, studies have shown a thriving light in the legal market that was not there before.
The news about plummeting law school enrollment hit the news last year, along with finger pointing and trying to find out the reason for the decline. Was it because of the job market? Is it from the amount of student debt? No one knew the answer for why students were applying to law school at dwindled numbers.
So far this year, law school applications are down 2.9 percent. Last year, there was a 27.7 decrease in law school applications. This means there may be a stabilization in the number of applications and this percentage will not have a dramatic decrease any time soon.
Since there was such a decrease in law school students, there will be a small number of graduating classes entering the workforce. A smaller number of entry level workers can mean more employment opportunities, assuming the job market doesn’t decline again.
According to an AmLaw 100 Survey, the legal job market saw a 4.3% increase in revenue in 2013, and a 5.4% increase in profits in 2014. In addition, big law firms are hiring more, especially with lateral moves in New York and New Jersey. Corporate in-house legal teams are increasing in number, and salaries are increasing according to another study.
In the end, lawyers are an important part of the economy. No matter if the job market is up or down within the next couple of years, the work that lawyers do for their clients is extremely important and a needed part of society.