UPDATE: The link to the course materials is gone, but it's website holding location is here, at the bottom of the page.
Hello folks, I wanted to get this post in early in case anyone happened to be near the GWULS this Friday, October 6! NALP is having its first-ever "Summit on emerging Careers", with a specific focus on "JD Advantage" jobs! Let's take a look:
The JD Advantage job market has more than doubled in the period since 2005. This event will focus on understanding a number of specific employment opportunities that have developed quickly in the period following the recession, including jobs for law school graduates in compliance, legal process outsourcing, and data privacy and security, among others.
The Summit will provide education about how to advise students and graduates who are examining these new career opportunities and will feature innovative career services professionals and deans who have capitalized on these opportunities for their graduates, as well as recruiters and others from some of these new law grad employer organizations. The entire conference will feature experts on 21st century legal careers.
Sounds great! I'm sure lots of job-searching law grads would like to get in on the ground floor with all this new information! I mean, why hold it all close to the vest, let's get that info out there! Open the doors!
Hmmm, wait...the conference is for law school administrators and staff. Hmmm...it costs $475 to attend. Hmmm..."NALP Members only." Hmmm... the speakers appear to be mostly law school professors and deans. There are executives from CapitalOne, Facebook, Senior Counsel from FirstNet, a couple of law firms, Spotify, USDOJ, Assistant General Counsel from JP Morgan Chase, SunTrust Bank, and Kroger, however. So, go! Here are nine entities who are looking to hire thousands of JDs for compliance, legal process outsourcing, and data security! Maybe the uninvited should barge in anyway with some Boomer-moxie and distribute resumes, because hey, they must be hiring! Why else would they show up and wax poetic on this "emerging" subject? This "new" information should be trumpeted from the rooftops! Salvation for the beleaguered is at hand!
Snark aside, here is the fundamental problem. The market for JD Advantage jobs has more than doubled, not because market demand has increased, but because graduates and down-sized practitioners are desperate for work. Here, let's look at NALP's own data:
-more below the fold-
Back in 2001, only 6% were employed in the JD Advantage category. To be generous, call it 11%, once you throw in the "other professional positions" category. That's because 3 out of 4 graduates wanted to be (and were employed as), well, you know, lawyers. Fifteen years later, that 6% has more than doubled to 15% (or 20%, depending on how you count).
A full two-thirds of graduates are still seeking/desiring/doing "actual lawyer" jobs. Either that, or they are so desperate to move into JD Advantage but can't, because the market won't receive them. Well, until 2017, according to NALP...
If this data showed something like 45% JD Advantage, 45% Bar Passage required, and 10% "other" (which has been relatively constant the last fifteen years), then that would be interesting. That would support the idea that the market for JDs is opening up, and JDs were flowing into other industries.
As it stands, the "growth" in JD Advantage as been slow and anemic, not explosive. Perhaps the future will change abruptly in all kinds of paradigm-shifting, disruptive ways. With law schools desperate to stay alive and pumping out twice as many graduates as the market needs, however, this remains to be seen, as compliance, legal outsourcing, and data security CLEARLY DID NOT EXIST* prior to the Great Recession. This conference is not about outcomes, but how to bring more into the fold.