Too Many Law School Graduates?


Lawyers Weekly today has an article that adds to recent commentary on a figure of 12,000 law graduates each year. 

Graduate Careers Australia published a report which put the total number of law graduates in 2012 at 12,742, up from 6149 in 2001.

However the CEO of the College of Law estimates that only about 5500 law graduates will actually go on to pursue careers as legal practitioners.

He said the Supreme Court admitted 5750 lawyers in 2013, and that this is a more reliable statistic to quote when talking about the number of graduates who are competing for jobs as lawyers each year.

Having said that, Carter does acknowledge that law graduates are having difficulty (he says it’s “very difficult”) to find work. Presumably this is a reference to the 5000 odd new practitioners to come through this year and not to the larger number. That seems to preserve the point of the original report – employment is in dispute – where are all these new lawyers going to get work?

Graduate Careers Australia recorded a record low in law bachelor graduate employment, with over one in five failing to find full-time jobs last year (78.5% employment rate).

Whatever the case, the difficulty in graduates obtaining work and the difficulty for firms in getting suitably capable graduates is a topic worthy of urgent discussion at the highest level.

The full article can be found here.