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Bubble trouble

Posted by: Laurence Simons 25/06/12

Only 55 per cent of the US's Class of 2011 law graduates have found full-time legal jobs, according to employment figures released by the American Bar Association. That is: not enough, according to employment figures released by the American Bar Association.

Nor is it enough according to non-profit group Law School Transparency (LST), who have decided the nation's legal graduates are so unemployed they need a new word to be described with: underemployed. The underemployed are, according to LST, those with legal qualifications who are in non-professional work, short-term or part-time employment, no employment at all, or seeking an extra degree. And there are a lot of them: after consulting ABA data, the group decided 26 per cent of last year's class were in the underemployment bracket. For alumni of 20 of the US's top law schools, that rises to 40 per cent.

But could the law school bubble that has been blamed for these underemployment figures be quietly floating on over to India? According to Bar and Bench: yes. "Law schools are being established with disconcerting regularity these days," says the legal news site, in an eerie mirroring of the system the US is picking up the pieces of at the moment. "Of the 14 National Law Universities which accept admission via the CLAT, nine have been established in the last decade alone." As former Delhi Bar Council chairman Rakesh Tiku told Legally India, the country currently boasts "at least 900" law schools, or, 'a heck of a lot of trainee lawyers'. Could the bubble be on its way east? Well, that remains to be seen, but the advice for those who may be studying at CLAT schools at the moment remains 'try hard'.