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Hiring in legal industry shows positive growth

August 9, 2013 | Posted at 1:10 pm

Hiring in the legal industry could be on the upward path after a recent study of online job postings demonstrated an increase in the number of opportunities available.

According to an article in published in the The Wall Street Journal in June of last year, the employment marketplace for recent law graduates was considered to be very tough, with the news source reporting that the class of 2011 had a 50 percent chance of finding a position within nine months of graduation.

However, there has been an increase in the number of positions advertised online, with one law-centric website showing at least 45,000 legal jobs posted. While this in itself is not a cast-iron endorsement of a positive hiring trend, it does show that there are openings available for the committed job seeker, and as such should be seen as a sign that the industry is moving forward.

There has been some concern expressed in the legal sector  that there are not enough jobs for the number of people graduating with a degree from the either the top 14 law schools in the country or even those in the second or third tier. Employers have allegedly prioritized candidates from the higher-ranked schools, and while this may be somewhat of an urban legend, recent graduates know that they are entering what could be considered to be a saturated marketplace.

One reason for this could be that the median age of lawyers has increased in the last few years, rising from 39 in 1980 to 49 in 2005, with one academic suggesting that the financial downturn of 2008 may have played a significant part.

According to the ABA Journal, demographic research undertaken by Robert Anderson, a professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, has shown that the baby boomer generation – those born between 1945 and 1964 – are still very much part of the legal system,

“With the financial recovery, more older lawyers may have the wherewithal to retire, freeing up more jobs for law grads,” said professor Robert Anderson, according to the news source. “And even if Baby Boomers continue to delay retirement, the inevitable march of time will likely result in more job openings. But the demographic factors suggest the real culprit in the law school graduates’ jobs dilemma of today may be the law school graduates of four decades ago.”