Over the past nine months, there have been numerous indications that a job crisis was looming for law students. Firms were deferring start dates for new associates, cutting summer programs, and even introducing new apprenticeship models of initial employment. Veritas Prep has been actively following each development to the hiring landscape and has covered a variety of angles in great detail. For more information, please visit past entries regarding:
- Salary Freezes – the first indication that change was on the way
- Law School in a Recession – considerations for deciding whether to attend law school in a downturn
- Firm Job Deferrals – bad news for recent grads and an even worse sign for the direction of the job market
- Apprenticeship Programs – emergence of a new model created out of market turmoil
- Hiring Landscape – early returns on law school job prospects
However, until the fall hiring season actually rolled around, there was no way to know for sure how all of these developments would impact current law students.
Well, now the fall season is here and, according to Bloomberg.com, it’s not looking good.
According to the Bloomberg article, the sting is being felt across the board, including at Harvard, which carries unique signifigance. HLS can be thought of as the castle on the hill when it comes to law school career prospects, so when the wolf is at the door of Harvard, you know the rest of the country has been overrun. According to Mark Weber, Harvard’s assistant dean for career services, second and third year students have experienced a decrease of up to 20% for initial interviews, and there seems to be a legitimate fear that “callbacks” are going to be even worse. That certainly seems to be the case at another elite program (especially with regard to career placement), as NYU is already calling the reduction of callbacks “significant.”
Again, if the truly elite programs are starting to panic, it does not bode well for every other law school beneath them in the pecking order. You can expect career service offices and students alike to start getting creative about the job search and you can absolutely expect admissions offices to start to think more about career prospects and plans than they ever have before. In fact, one of the things that has always made applying to law school so different from applying to business school is that JD programs have long been relatively unconcerned with career plans or prospects. However, it seems likely that we are entering a bold new world with regard to law schools admissions; one where career goals are of paramount importance. Plan accordingly.
For more information on law school admissions or for help incorporating career goals into the application, visit our website or call our offices at 1.800.925.7737. If you are interested in receiving an in-person consultation, contact us at law at veritasprep.com to find out more about these seasonal events in your area.