Jobs in Business and Industry - A 20-Year Perspective - 1994-2014
Untitled

NALP Bulletin, February 2016

Since the mid-1990s, the percentage of employed law school graduates taking jobs in business and industry has increased from 12% to 18%, with half of that increase coming since 2011, when the percentage jumped up to 18.1% (from 15.1% in 2010), a level that has been largely sustained since. In terms of the number of jobs, it has doubled. As the bar chart accompanying this article shows, the percentage of jobs in business and industry climbed steadily until 1997, then dropped somewhat in the next few years through 2002 before beginning a pattern of mostly sustained growth since that time, with a few exceptions.

It should be noted that both the number of graduates and the percentage for whom employment status was known has increased in the past 20 years. However, the broad contours of the trend remain, and it is clear that the trend line is up as shown by the additional chart on the number of jobs reported in business and industry from 1994-2014. And, in fact, taking the figures back to 1992 shows that the number of jobs has almost tripled, and the percentage of jobs in business has doubled. For an earlier version of this column, see the November 2013 NALP Bulletin research column posted at www.nalp.org/1113research.

Over the past two decades the kinds of employers tracked within business have changed somewhat, precluding comprehensive trends for all. For those employer types that have been tracked consistently, banking and finance has experienced the greatest net growth over the period. Among more recently tracked categories, jobs in technology/e-commerce companies have increased steadily, while the number of jobs in legal temp agencies has fluctuated considerably and fell to its lowest point by far in 2014. (See the table accompanying this article.)

Although other kinds of employers within business are tracked, such as those in publishing, management consulting, and entertainment/sports management, it remains the case that about half of the jobs in business and industry are with "other" kinds of employers not specifically tracked. This encompasses a wide range of businesses, such as all manner of retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and pharmaceutical businesses, to name but a few kinds of employers.

NALP has tracked the kinds of jobs taken in business (regardless of business employer type) since 2001. Again a catchall category of "other" has dominated, but opportunities in management, consulting, and marketing have grown, providing over 1,400 jobs to the Class of 2014. The number of in-house legal jobs has doubled, from about 500 to over 1,000. Starting with the Class of 2014, compliance jobs were tracked; with over 600 such jobs reported, compliance was the next largest specific job type reported after in-house legal.

Finally, the growth of business jobs that are categorized as JD Advantage (JD Preferred prior to 2011) is evident. The percentage of jobs for which bar passage is required has drifted up and down. Prior to 2001, jobs were classified as legal, other professional, and non-professional, so direct comparisons with 2001 and later years are not possible. During the 1994-2000 period about 40% of business jobs were reported as legal. It is likely that some portion of these jobs were closer to the JD Advantage categorization than to a job for which bar passage, in addition to a JD degree, was required. Since 2001, the share of business jobs reported as JD Advantage has doubled, and in 2014 they accounted for almost half of business jobs.







Jobs in Business and Industry — Selected Trends 1994-2014

Year Total # of Jobs
in Business/
Industry
% Bar Passage
Required
% JD Advantage # OF JOBS IN SELECTED EMPLOYER TYPES
Accounting Banking/
Finance
Insurance Technology/
E-commerce
Legal Temp Agencies
1994 3,241 NC NC 278 315 279 NC NC
1995 3,760 NC NC 393 376 312 NC NC
1996 4,149 NC NC 416 445 349 NC NC
1997 4,413 NC NC 507 476 338 NC NC
1998 4,388 NC NC 575 482 317 NC NC
1999 4,247 NC NC 557 453 278 NC NC
2000 3,977 NC NC 422 381 224 NC NC
2001 3,515 29.3 23.6 360 282 215 181 NC
2002 3,349 27.8 23.8 199 275 207 199 NC
2003 3,671 26.9 26.2 161 256 247 192 NC
2004 3,928 30.7 27.9 170 316 245 196 NC
2005 4,666 32.0 29.5 216 391 258 243 NC
2006 5,160 34.2 29.7 298 499 278 339 559
2007 5,223 34.2 29.8 298 536 214 318 636
2008 4,887 32.9 30.1 276 467 228 358 558
2009 4,861 28.9 28.7 192 434 230 356 418
2010 5,446 31.8 29.2 204 548 236 432 452
2011 6,442 29.8 37.2 246 654 256 544 701
2012 6,701 29.1 39.2 312 852 289 578 550
2013 6,935 28.4 42.3 364 957 311 555 510
2014 6,584 27.3 47.4 393 1,001 321 594* 349

* This figure includes jobs with both law-related/legal technology companies (138 jobs), and other technology/e-commerce companies (456 jobs). Prior to 2014, all such jobs were included in an overall technology/e-commerce category.

National Association for Law Placement, Inc.® (NALP®)
1220 19th Street NW, Suite 401, Washington, DC 20036-2405
(202) 835-1001 info@nalp.org
© Copyright 2019 NALP

STAY CONNECTED



View Full Site