Positive Career Outlook Despite High Law Grad Unemployment

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Job OfferA challenging career with high prospects and salary – these are the usual impressions when it comes to lawyers. Reality, however, states that the demand for lawyers continue to go down in recent years. This puts into question the wisdom of accepting and producing more law students.

Fewer jobs for more law grads

Recent studies show that more law school graduates are having a hard time finding work in the US. The National Association for Law Placement revealed that among 2012 graduates, only 64.4% obtained jobs that require passing the bar, the lowest figure they had on record. Even the US Bureau of Labor Statistics cited strong competition for jobs, seeing more graduates than available jobs, as the reason. They found that 440,000 new law graduates would compete for 212,000 jobs in this decade.

Despite the dismal prospects, some organizations remain positive, emphasizing that law graduates can still find jobs other than being a traditional lawyer. The Center for Legal Studies suggest using their credentials to work for private sectors. Below are some work opportunities law graduates can explore:

Paralegals and Legal Assistants

These jobs involve heavy research, drafting court documents, interviewing personnel and others. Law firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies usually need their services. Paralegals or legal assistants require an associate’s degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelor’s degree in another field and a certificate in paralegal studies.

Human Resources Manager

Good people skills are necessary for this position, a trait most law graduates have. HR Managers are responsible for maintaining and improving a company’s human resources by selecting new hires, implementing and evaluating employee policies.

Chief Corporate Officers

As people who provide legal advice and assistance, law graduates can become chief corporate officers. The job touches almost everything, be it corporate planning, sales, HR, finance or legal. COOs ensure that the whole company works efficiently and effectively. They may also become Chief Financial officers, a job that requires a nurturing personality, keen attention to detail, broad views and argumentation skills.

Law graduates will never run out of job opportunities as long as there are companies in need of their skills. They only have to explore other options so they can practice their profession and enjoy the benefits of their degree.


  1. Like what you’ve said, law school grads can still find work if they know where to look. The problem doesn’t lie in the opportunities but in the ability of law graduates to adapt to ever-changing demand. For law grads out there – start looking at other angles to make use of your degree.

  2. Law firms are not the only avenues for law graduates. With their wide skill set, they can even become leaders and owners of companies. Strategy matters. I graduated with a law degree and passed the bar years ago. But I didn’t use my credentials to help other firms. I started my own company and now I’m enjoying more profits than my other contemporary lawyers ever did.

  3. At the end of the day, what matters for law grads is having a job where they can make money from almost a decade’s worth of study and practice of the law. There are also the student loans to pay off so it’s understandable that they would want to stick to law firms. Reality bites however. They can only try their damnedest to pitch themselves in a law firm, or move on and look for other options.

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