In the face of the shrinking job market for recent law school graduates, the Georgetown University Law Center remains confident in its ability to connect its students to jobs in the industry.

A recent data release by the American Bar Association showed that only 57 percent of law school graduates in 2013 found long-term, full-time jobs nine months after graduation, a mere 0.8 percent increase over 2012. The percentage of unemployed students seeking work rose from 10.6 percent in 2012 to 11.2 percent in 2013.

Despite the increased unemployment rates for law school graduates, employment statistics for Georgetown law school graduates are significantly above the national trend and have rebounded nicely from 2011, the worst year for law graduates. For the class of 2013, 93 percent were employed within nine months of graduation. Additionally, as of 2013, 83.7 percent of Georgetown law graduates are in bar-required, long-term full-time positions, a 21.1 percent increase from 2011 and a 10.4 percent increase from 2012, according to Assistant Dean of Career Services at the Law Center Marcia Shannon.

“Though the general legal market has been sluggish at best, Georgetown Law has shown a substantial increase in job prospects since 2011,” she said.

Shannon credited the Law Center’s rising graduate employment rate to the proactivity of students, along with increased resources to the Office of Career Services and Office of Public Interest and Community Service, as primary reasons for Georgetown’s relative success.

This decrease in job prospects for graduates nationally could also be attributed to the high number of law school graduates searching for employment. The graduating class of 2013, according to the American Bar Association, consisted of 46,776 students, a record number. Although the number is expected to fall, Shannon does not expect the national job market to flourish again soon.

“I suspect there will not be tremendous change in the overall employment statistics for law school graduates generally,” she said. “At Georgetown Law, we expect, given the quality of our students and the many new initiatives coming from the Law Center, our graduates will continue to have good prospects.”

Benjamin Lee (LAW ’14) noticed an improvement in the private job market during his personal search.

“I was always focused on private practice. It wasn’t great back in 2012, but things seem to be improving on the private market side,” Lee said. “I also found that the market for internships with the federal government was fairly strong for Georgetown students.”

Lee successfully landed a job with Clifford Chance, an international law firm based in New York.

Other law students acknowledged that the job market in its current state is stingy.

“The job market is tough. No one should think that getting a great job in this economy is easy, even nearly six years after the start of the financial crisis,” Grant Dubler (LAW ’14) said.

Those interested in public service and law appeared to be particularly affected by limited prospects.

“The public interest job market is tough. There is a huge shortage of legal services for low-income people, but organizations that offer these services often do not have the funding to hire a number of lawyers to meet the community need,” Allison Federoff (LAW ’14) said.

To navigate the tricky job market, Dubler emphasized the importance of flexibility.

“I wouldn’t say that it’s getting harder for law school graduates to find a job. It just might be getting harder for law school graduates to find a job at a large law firm,” Dubler said. “Phenomenal Georgetown Law graduates will always be able to write their own ticket anywhere, but there is no doubt that the old model of heading to an Am Law 100 firm to get a six-figure salary is an option only for about a third of law graduates, even at the best schools. However, there are plenty of great options outside of the corporate law world.”

Dubler will work as a Legislative Assistant for Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) next year.

Federoff, who will work as a staff attorney at Washington, D.C.’s Children Law Center, credits her success to the support she received from Georgetown.

“I feel so fortunate to have attended a law school that has an entire office dedicated to career counseling for public interest careers,” she said. “Georgetown Law has many programs to make it easier to pursue a career in public interest, such as providing full loan repayment assistance to those who work in public interest for at least 10 years.”

In addition to praise from its students, the law school also recently received official acclamation. The National Law Journal named the Law Center as one of the top schools in terms of overall job prospects, jobs with large law firms, as well as jobs in government and public interest in 2013.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *