Salaries for New Lawyers: How Did We Get Here? (NALP Bulletin, January 2008) — The range of salaries earned by new law school graduates has been well known and documented for many years. Even as students and the media have tended to focus on the high end of the scale, career services offices have seen and conveyed the broader picture. NALP's annual graduate employment survey documents this salary picture in many ways each year.
A Picture Worth 1,000 Words (Jobs & JD's — Class of 2006) — For another perspective on salaries of the Class of 2006, see A
Picture Worth 1,000 Words, which features the bimodal distribution salary graph.
What Do New Lawyers Earn? A 15-Year Retrospective as Reported by Law School Graduates (NALP Bulletin, September 2007) — This article provides a 15-year overview of law firm starting salaries based on NALP's annual graduate employment survey (now published as Jobs & JD's: Employment and Salaries of New Law Graduates).
Employment Patterns — 1982-2006 (NALP Bulletin, August 2007) — NALP’s graduate employment data show that, historically, women and minorities are less likely to take jobs in law firms and more likely to take jobs with public sector employers. However, for the Class of 2006, while a higher proportion of non-minority than minority graduates continued to obtain private practice positions, for the first time non-minority and minority graduates were equally likely to be employed in public service positions. The tables below show the kinds of jobs taken by the Classes of 1982, 1994, and 2006.
Market for New Law Graduates Up — Topping 90% for First Time Since 2000 (July 25, 2007 Press Release) — The vast majority of Class of 2006 law school graduates — 90.7% of those for whom employment status was known — were employed as of February 15, 2007. This rate increased for the second year in a row and topped 90% for the first time since 2000. Far more graduates started work in small firms of 50 or fewer lawyers or in non-firm settings (71% of those employed) than at firms of more than 100 lawyers (just 20% of those employed).
Trends in Graduate Employment — 1985-2006 (NALP Bulletin, July 2007) — It is evident that, despite some decline in the overall employment rate since 2000, the market for new law graduates has been quite strong in recent years, with overall employment close to or above 89% since 1997, and increases over the prior year in 2005 and 2006. The employment rate for the Class of 2006 was the highest since 2000, at 90.7%.
Class of 2006 Selected Findings (PDF - free download)