Trends in Law Firm Jobs — Classes of 1982-2000

NALP Bulletin, November 2001

In the 27 years that NALP has compiled graduate employment statistics, over half of employed graduates have obtained their first job in a law firm setting. In most of these years, jobs at firms of 2-10 outnumbered jobs at the largest firms of more than 100 by a considerable margin. However, in 1989, 1990, and since 1998, this has not been the case. In 2000, for the first time, jobs taken in the largest firms equaled those taken in the two smallest categories — 2-10 and 11-25 — combined.

Law Firm Jobs by Firm Size — Classes of 1982-2000
(percent of law firm jobs taken in each size firm)

Year

Size of Firm (number of attorneys)

Solo

2-10

11-25

26-50

51-100

101 or more

1982

7.6

40.3

14.8

11.1

10.7

15.6

1983

7.1

41.1

15.1

11.2

10.1

15.4

1984

6.6

39.7

15.0

11.1

10.4

17.2

1985

5.0

35.7

15.1

11.7

12.0

20.6

1986

4.3

32.4

15.6

12.0

12.5

23.2

1987

3.3

31.6

15.3

12.9

12.8

24.1

1988

2.7

28.6

14.5

12.2

13.4

28.6

1989

2.8

24.6

15.0

12.6

14.8

30.2

1990

3.6

28.7

13.1

11.6

12.2

30.8

1991

5.2

33.1

12.5

10.3

10.0

28.9

1992

6.8

38.0

13.5

9.1

9.1

23.6

1993

7.5

41.5

13.1

7.8

7.9

22.2

1994

6.2

41.0

12.2

7.6

8.1

24.9

1995

6.0

40.9

12.3

7.5

7.5

25.8

1996

6.1

39.3

11.8

7.4

7.5

27.9

1997

5.7

36.4

12.0

7.7

7.6

30.6

1998

3.8

33.5

11.5

7.7

8.0

35.5

1999

3.2

31.4

11.1

7.4

7.7

39.1

2000

2.7

30.2

10.8

7.7

7.6

41.0

Note: Figures for 1989 and 1990 reflect only full-time law firm jobs; for all other years figures reflect all law firm jobs acquired by graduates. Figures in this table differ slightly from those published in earlier ERSSampler reports or Bulletin columns because law firm jobs for which firm size was not reported are excluded from the base.

National Association for Law Placement, Inc.® (NALP®)
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