2017 Hiring Trends for Recent Law School Graduates

Renewed interest from prospective students, but is the market ready for them?

Law schools are experiencing renewed interest from prospective students, which is good news for those institutions, but it’s likely that the employment landscape awaiting newly-minted JDs will be very different from the Big Law-dominated ones that prevailed for decades previously. This paper will explore:

  • Increasing Interest in Law School
  • Firm Hiring on the Decline
  • Top Schools Not Immune
  • Dynamics in Driving the Hiring Trends

Since the  2016 election, the number of students taking the LSAT surged; so far in 2017, each occurrence of the test, which is administered four times a year, saw year-over-year increases:

  • In February, the number of students that took the test was up 5.4% year-over-year, to 21,400;
  • In June, the number of people that took the LSAT was up 19.8% year-over-year, to 27,666; and
  • In September, the number of test-takers was up 10.7% year-over-year, to 37,146.

That said, politics isn’t the only factor playing a part in this renewed surge of interest in attending law school. Schools are getting better at marketing themselves to prospective students, have reduced barriers to application,
such as eliminating the limits on how many times a person can take the LSAT, and they’re providing more tools and resources to help students get ready for the test.

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