As ‘Troubling Indicators’ Mount for 2010 Law Grads, an ABA Expert Issues a Warning
The chairman of an ABA commission studying the impact of the economic downturn on the legal profession has some advice for would-be law students: You may want to reconsider.
Allan Tanenbaum, chairman of the ABA Commission on the Impact of the Economic Crisis on the Profession and Legal Needs, spoke to the Wall Street Journal for a story on the dim employment prospects for this year’s law grads.
Tanenbaum told the newspaper that the average law-school debt for students is $100,000, and in the current job market, many “have no foreseeable way to pay that back.”
The newspaper notes “troubling indicators” for law students graduating this year: Law firms offered an average of 16 summer associate spots this year, about half the number offered last year. Employers made job offers to 69 percent of summer associates, down from about 90 percent. At the respected University of Texas law school, the employment rate for 2010 grads is down an estimated 10 percent to 15 percent from last year.
Among the unemployed is Fabian Ronisky, a Northwestern University law student who was a summer associate at a leading Los Angeles firm last summer. He didn’t get a job offer, so he sent out about 50 resumés to other law firms and government agencies. He is saddled with $150,000 in student loans, and is moving home with his parents. He hopes to make money selling movies and music online.