Is the Future of New Lawyers at Risk? Law Students Are Graduating with no Hopes for a Stable Career
They walk with an upright gait, teaming with confidence. For them, it’s a whole new world filled with opportunities. They smile with such buoyancy that at times, you would think they were having delusions of grandeur. And if you questioned whether they were truly having such an ‘affliction’, they would boldly reply as the famous Edward Mourra did in the movie Limitless. “Delusions of grandeur? No, it is a recipe for grandeur.”
Ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking about the fresh law graduate. A species of man that is increasingly becoming the focal point of all things dealing with morality, justice, and the quest for universal freedom. He or she is at the apex of democracy, equality, and dares to defy any autocratic rule that continually oppresses its citizens the world over. And thanks to having such admirable qualities, mankind has become more refined than what it was a century ago.
Of late, however, the fresh law graduate has been thrown under the bus. He or she is at risk of becoming extinct. And here are some of the factors that might turn this fear into reality:
The Burden of Student Loans
The student loan is considered the primary adversary for any American graduate hands down. It’s impossible to focus on a potential law career that would inevitably flourish, knowing that you’ve got thousands of dollars in unpaid student loans! The stress alone is a precursor to failed pursuits in whatever branch of law you aim to practice in. At times, it gets quite tempting to throw caution to the wind and ‘bite the hand that feeds you.’ That is, ignore the said student loans and turn your talents elsewhere.
Money laundering, illegal white-collar practices, or anything that can put your exceptional law skills to the test while getting money fast. And it’s no surprise that white collar crime is on the rise. Just like every other fresh graduate, the ones in law are looking for a way out fast! And this derails their attention from qualified positions with minimal pay to other dubious ‘get money quick’ schemes.
The Saturation of the Market
Law graduates are being churned out fast, and perhaps it’s a psychological response to all the television series dedicated to lawyers and the ‘fancy’ lives they live. That’s one guess. But trends clearly show that in the United States, the job market in terms of law is at an all-time low. And we have to blame the 2010 Great recession as well as the saturation of the law market.
In fact, in 2012, there were an estimated of 46,565 graduates with law degrees than there were estimated job openings of about 21,640. That’s more than half the population of law graduates being, technically speaking, ‘jobless.’ And this trend has slowly been on the rise. Indicators strongly suggest that if this trend continues, more high school students will shun from law as a potentially lucrative career, which will then lead to the extinction of qualified law students altogether!
The Failure of Specialization
Law is quite diverse. And the mere fact that you are a law graduate does not constitute you being qualified for a specific branch of law to practice in. This has created the problem of underqualified law graduates that have not been given the opportunity to effectively expand their skills.
Sadly, one of the growing trends in corporate America is that firms are looking for exceptionally qualified graduates to join their practice as interns, and leaving the rest to figure out this harsh reality on their own.
This has resulted in a sort of ‘cream of the crop’ selection process, leaving the rest without opportunities for growth and development. In turn, most law students fail to specialize and have little to no chance of using that law degree in the future.
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