The New York Tines Economix blog collects data on the lawyer surplus.
Key scary statistic: “In fact, across the country, there were twice as many people who passed the bar in 2009 (53,508) as there were openings (26,239)”
The post also shares the state-by-state report with annual openings, bar exam passers, law school completers, surplus/shortage and median wage. Take a look.
DC has the highest median wage, over $70/hr, and Montana the lowest, under $25/hr.
The access to justice implications are obvious. There is massive need for legal help, but that is not being translated into jobs. There has to be a way to create delivery system jobs that provide living wages while helping access to justice. You would think law schools (particularly those at the bottom of the jobs hierarchy in the high surplus states) would be desperate to do more to create jobs for their graduates. As times stay tough, they will eventually start to fall by the wayside as lack of jobs translates into lack of interest in law school places, falling tuition income, and less money for faculty and administrators.
See my prior post on incubator programs.
How about a major conference focused just on this problem?