A lot of students will say, “Well, I’ll just get a law degree,” says Robert M. Dyer, who teaches undergraduate and graduate programs at the University of California, Irvine, and has written a book about law schools.
But, he says, students who want to do well in the job market generally have to be “very successful at something other than law school.”
The result is that the number of students graduating from the top law schools has decreased dramatically.
Dyers study, published this month in the Journal of Law and Economics, found that the percentage of students with a law license at the top 10 schools has dropped from 15% in 2011 to 5% this year.
“The problem is that law school is becoming less competitive, and we’re seeing this with a large number of graduates,” he says.
“There’s not a lot of competition anymore.
And if you look at the number that are going to law school this year, we’re actually seeing a decline in the number, and that’s the most significant decline in terms of percentage of graduates with a degree.”
The number of law students who have degrees is falling dramatically, Dyer says.
And while it’s still a growing market, his survey found that in recent years, the number with degrees dropped by about 6% per year, from 10,000 in 2011.
That number is expected to fall by at least another 5% per annum, Dyers says.
Law schools with fewer graduates are also facing a crisis of financial resources, he adds.
That’s partly because the cost of education for a law student has doubled in recent decades, and the number has been falling even as the number at the bottom of the legal job market has increased.
A recent study from the Center for American Progress found that students who graduated from top law school in 2010 spent about $28,000 more than their peers with less prestigious degrees.
That makes it difficult to go to school, Dierks study found.
“It’s very difficult for many law students to have a high school diploma,” he said.
In fact, one of the reasons the number is falling is because of the recession, which has slowed down job growth in some fields.
According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, jobs in legal occupations have fallen by 7.4% since September 2007.
A large number also cite the recession as a reason why they don’t want to work in law.
But Dyer sees the trend in job growth as one that may be changing.
“What’s happening is that employers are not just looking for people who are law graduates, they’re looking for graduates who are also lawyers,” he explains.
“And that means a lot more of the people are choosing not to go into the legal field.”
It also means that some students are turning to the profession that’s been their life’s work.
“Some of the graduates that I’ve spoken to are saying, ‘I’m not going to go back to law unless I get a job with an organization like the American Bar Association or the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers or the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, or something like that,’ ” Dyer said.
“That means that they’re actually choosing to do this in a way that is less risky.”
For Dyer and others, the future of law schools is still uncertain.
He points to the recent decision of the Supreme Court that could be a turning point in the way law schools recruit.
Just a few weeks ago, the Supreme the Court made the decision that will affect the future in legal education.
And he believes it could help law schools and the law profession.
The decision is likely to come down to whether or not the court overturns a lower court decision that had allowed students to receive a bachelor’s degree in law from a law school.
If it does, then the justices may decide to go one step further.
The question for the law schools at the heart of the debate is how to change the future, Dyser says.
The law schools are trying to figure out how to do it.
Law school graduates are becoming less likely to have degrees, Dieser says, and as a result, students are dropping out.
They’re also having difficulty finding jobs.
“When we look at how law schools hire, the question is, how do we get those people into the workforce?”
“In terms of making sure that those students have the job skills, that they can contribute to the society, that their work ethic and their social skills are good, then law schools will have to figure that out.
We’ll have to develop new educational approaches that allow law schools to attract the very best people and keep them in the workforce.”
What to Know The Supreme Court is expected this summer to overturn a lower-court decision that allowed students who received a law diploma to apply for jobs with law firms. What that