The exception, of course, were those from the top tier of the T-14 who had received an offer from where they summered.
According to the NALP, before the Crash in the legal sector, only 68% of newbies were in a job requiring bar passage within nine months after graduation.
Now, it might surprise some, it's not a lot worse than that. Abovethelaw.com's Elie Mystal reports that the percentage is 62%. He was with the NALP crowd. Here you can read his analysis.
The 62% is not all that bad, considering ...
The perception of the NALP is that the market has stabilized. Fewer are going to law school so there are fewer chasing jobs. Yes, there are fewer jobs but the NALP was looking at the percentage number.
Will this stability last? Don't bet on it. I predict bit by but the number of applicants to law school will begin increasing. And more of those accepted will attend.
The default among American youth, documents Jeffrey J. Selingo in his book "There IS Life After College," is to go for more higher education when the BA/BS doesn't produce the good job.
In addition, ever since "Perry Mason," television has produced programming, fictional and reality, which makes law seem fascinating. Who wouldn't want to be in that loop? No series shows the tedium which can generate boozing and uppers.
Also, in everyday life, including the tabloids like the New York Post, disputes managed by lawyers dominate attention. Who doesn't know someone who is involved in a lawsuit, divorce process, custody battle or even a pro se something?
It's not easy to resist that pull force if one's life is stuck. In the mid 80s, that was the story of mine. I would up a 1L at Harvard Law School. "How did I get here?" I asked myself. "You applied, you were admitted, you went," was the answer. Sometimes big mistakes have such a simple pattern.
The good news is that we can develop improved coping mechanisms. At the end of the 1990s, my life was again stuck. I investigated applying to Harvard Divinity School. I didn't. Instead I was an early adopter of mindfulness. I haven't matriculated at an academic program since.