20% of the graduates of the 2010 law school class are employed in jobs that do not require a law license, and only 40% are working in law firms, compared with 60% ten years prior, reports Elizabeth Olsen (April 26, 2015, New York Times: “Burdened By Debt, Law School Graduates Struggle In The Job Market”).
Everyone understood that the great recession of 2008 would decrease, at least for a time, jobs in law. What is unexpected is the the class of 2010 has not rebounded in the job market, unlike the law school class of 2000 which also graduated in a recession, but for whom employment in law firms returned. For the class of 2010, the jobs that exist are largely in small firms, government, solo work, or in jobs in business which do not require passing the bar exam.
Loan debt compounds the problem. The class of 2010 (of whom 85% have loan debt) accumulated an average loan debt of $77,364 for those who attended public law schools, and $112,007 for those who attended private law schools.
Sarah C. Reese, Informed Educational Solutions