According to this infographic from the Wall Street Journal, “lawyer gluts” and the “dismal state of today’s job market”, a deeper examination of the actual numbers in this piece (completely unverified at the time of this blog's publication, I might add) could equally support the conclusion that the legal market is simply changing – breaking fee from its traditional trappings -- rather than drying up altogether. This generation of law graduates need not focus on the adversity created by a lack of large to medium size firm openings, but take note of the numerous ways these same numbers identify other employment options and encourage you to make yourself marketable to the very outside forces that are allegedly squeezing the big/medium law firm jobs out.
Globalization making an impact? Go learn a second or third language targeting those exploding European/Asian/Middle Eastern markets. Alternative legal service providers making a dent in the workload at large firms? Make sure you seek out and target those service providers, as they need guess what as their business platforms expand? That’s right, lawyers. Trends suggesting boutique firms are the flavor of the day? Narrow in through your extra-curricular activities in school on a practice area that interests you and supports a boutique practice, and then actively target those firms. Don’t let these headlines discourage you – they are intended to be dramatic and attention-grabbing, just as with any other piece of journalism in today’s age. These numbers aren’t a doomsday forecast – but they should be an encouragement to lay out your job strategy early, and to be flexible in your searches. This “adversity” only primes you to become stronger lawyers/marketers/business-people.