It’s been a while since we debated which class of associates got screwed over the most because of the global economic meltdown. Is it the class of 2009? That was the class who enjoyed the first round of (sometimes indefinite) incoming first year deferrals. Maybe you think the class of 2010 is most screwed? That class ran into reduced (or canceled) summer programs, fewer hiring opportunities, and reduced salaries.
I don’t think the class of 2011 qualifies. Those people have had every opportunity to read the writing on the wall and adjust accordingly.
But what about the class of 2008? Remember them? That’s the class where a lot of people were just straight up fired. Some of those people saw their careers end before they even began. The website Visualize Law has a very interesting chart about what happened to people in the class of 2008.
Let’s take a look after the jump.
Here’s one way of representing the employment outcomes for the class of 2008. The chart looks at all people who applied to law school in 2004-2005.
Obviously, the above chart comes with a number of caveats:
Granted, the chart is skewed in various ways. Plenty of people who had no business going to law school were rejected from all law schools, a large bottom of the chart. Some people may not want a $160,000 salary, or some people may (perhaps inexplicably) go to law school but have no intention of practicing as a lawyer. Others may clerk. On the flip side, many from the Class of 2008 were laid off within their first year of employment. Part-time students who applied in ’04 and graduated in ’08 presumably balance out with those who applied in ’05 and graduated in ’09. And not all law school graduates are treated equal: your law school’s quality and your GPA in law school dramatically affect your employment options.
Still, caveats aside this chart paints a clear picture: the $160K salary is a mirage for all but the luckiest members of the class of 2008.
And, depending on your law firm, even the lucky few who snagged a $160K could find their success stories frozen in place for at least a little while.
What Happened to the Class of 2008? [Visualize Law]