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Are 2016 law grads in luck? New stats say lawyer jobs will exceed graduates that year

Posted By Administration, Friday, November 21, 2014

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has changed the way it calculates job openings in the legal profession, producing a rosy outlook for law grads in 2016.

The bureau’s new method of calculating workers leaving an occupation who need to be replaced no longer relies on the assumption that workers enter at a young age, work in their field until they are old, and then retire, according to Loyola at Los Angeles law professor Theodore Soto, writing at TaxProf Blog. Workers no longer follow a traditional career path, and the old method failed to capture many people leaving law jobs, the bureau concluded.

Now the Bureau of Labor Statistics will directly measure workers who leave occupations, based on survey results. The bureau made the change after testing both measures of job openings against historical data, including data for lawyers.

ABA data collected since 2011 shows an average of 29,000 law grads find positions requiring bar passage each year, and that doesn’t include grads who clerk or take other jobs who later find JD-required positions. Yet the bureau’s old method projected an average of only 19,560 lawyer jobs each year.

The new method projects 41,460 lawyer openings a year, according to Soto.


Read the whole story at ABA Journal

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