This map, courtesy of Matt Leichter at the Law School Tuition Bubble, is a representation of the lawyer glut in America through the year 2011. Things may have changed slightly since then, but this is still a fairly accurate portrayal of the problem the legal profession is facing. If your state is in the red, then your chances of finding a job as a lawyer will be just as slim as your bank account balance.
Wait a second, almost the entire country is in the red. Congratulations, graduates, because it looks like you just walked straight into the Hunger Games of job searches. May the odds be ever in your favor.
So which states are the worst for law school graduates who are desperately in search of work?
According to Leichter, who compared ten-year job growth estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics with the number of graduates from ABA-accredited law schools, there are about two law students for each projected job opening. When this data is broken down on a state-by-state basis, we can see that the lawyer glut is much more severe in some parts of the country — and with law schools having packed their entering classes like clown cars (until recently), why shouldn’t it be?
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, here are the ten states where the lawyer glut is the worst:
1. Mississippi: 10.53 law grads per legal job opening
2. Michigan: 6.48 law grads per legal job opening
3. Delaware: 4.20 law grads per legal job opening
4. Nebraska: 4.04 law grads per legal job opening
5. Vermont: 3.50 law grads per legal job opening
6. Massachusetts: 3.27 law grads per legal job opening
7. Indiana: 3.03 law grads per legal job opening
8. Oregon: 2.98 law grads per legal job opening
9. Louisiana: 2.95 law grads per legal job opening
10. New York: 2.92 law grads per legal job opening
You can see another version of the full list here (with notes from Jordan Weissmann of The Atlantic).
Hey, remember how everyone was telling you to move to a more rural part of the country to improve your chances of finding a job? Mississippi and Nebraska seem to belie that advice entirely. Here are the states you should actually be considering if you’re in search of a legal job to fill that ugly employment gap on your résumé: Arizona, New Jersey, Nevada, Wyoming, and for obvious reasons, Alaska.
This summer in Jersey, you can probably expect to see an invasion of Snookis, Situations, and lawyers. Because really, only the truly desperate want to experience the legal version of Northern Exposure.
Law Graduate Overproduction [Law School Tuition Bubble]
The Absolute Worst States for Job Hunting Law School Grads [The Atlantic]
Most States Saw Lawyer Surplus Grow from 2009 to 2011 [Am Law Daily]