The news stories are always full of the latest unemployment figures. Footage of the homeless and destitute are common place. Knowing that most of those in the footage were put there by an economy on the fritz is not a comforting thought. Construction, tourism and business are laying off at an alarming rate. You may not see the footage but the story is there nonetheless graduates of ABA accredited law schools are making up a great portion of the newly unemployed. The guidance counselors must not be giving these kids the true economic picture of the state of the union right now. Every year thousands of ABA accredited law schools release what amounts to a tidal wave of newly minted barristers out into the world. There are not enough law firms to sustain them all and the market for legal service is stalling because of the high fees being charged.
The truth is the US is over saturated with lawyers right now. And new ABA accredited law schools are being started all the time. What are they thinking? We are in the middle of a recession and these new schools are an open invitation to a career that is the first to be hit when people start watching every penny. The would-be lawyers graduate from their prestigious ABA accredited law schools with a ton of unpaid debt in the form of student loans. If they were noting the top 10 of the graduating class and caught the eye of a big firm their chances are just as good as the next person to be saying, “do you want fries with that?” There are a lot of engineers, lawyers and other graduating professionals working at jobs that are beneath their education level just to keep the creditors off until they can make it in their fields.
This will be the fate of the ABA accredited law schools graduating class in 2011. The economy may be coming around but it is moving slowly and the bills will start piling in long before the job offers start being the kind that can actually get the monkey off the backs of these young professionals. Some say it irresponsible of the ABA to open so many new schools when the country is drowning. That may be true but at least when it is that all over they will still have that degree.