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NALP releases new lawyer figures

Not all the economic news nowadays is gloomy. Or maybe the latest data on lawyer hiring just tracks those last few months before the economic tide turned.

Data released at the end of July by the National Association for Law Placement shows that the Class of 2007 had the highest employment rate in 20 years. A whopping 91.9 percent of last year’s law grads “for whom employment status was known” – there’s always a catch – were employed as of Feb. 15, 2008.

In line with past surveys, over 55 percent of the rookie lawyers wound up in private practice. Compared to the overall median starting salary of $65,750, the law firm private practice median salary was higher — $108,500, a jump of more than $13,000 over last year’s figure.

NALP’s press release cautions that only 16 percent of the respondents earned the top salaries of $160,000, while 38 percent were earning $55,000 or less.

This 34th annual report reflects a total of 186 ABA-accredited law schools participating in the study, providing employment information on 93% of all graduates of the Class of 2007.

By Deborah Elkins

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