Graduates at US law schools are finding less entry-level opportunities, according to employment data for the 2017 released by The American Bar Association. While the percentage of graduates who found jobs requiring bar passage or an offer which comes from earning a JD degree has gone up, the effect was offset by the 2017 graduating class being six percent smaller than the previous year.
Net job loss
Within 10 months of graduation, 75.3 percent of 2017 graduates found entry-level jobs, up from 72.6 percent in 2016. However, 34,432 students graduated from ABA-accredited schools in 2017, compared to 35,749 in 2016. The arithmetic shows that the net for recent law school grads was a decrease of 630 jobs, going from 26,923 in 2016 to 26,293 in 2017, according to the ABA. Other figures reveal that from 2016 to 2017, the percentage of law school graduates taking jobs where a JD is an advantage dropped from 14.1 percent to 11.8 percent, while the percentage of graduates taking jobs that require bar passage increased from 64.5 percent to 68.7 percent. The ABA’s complete list and breakdown of 2017 law school employment outcomes can be found here.