NALP (National Association for Law Placement) issued a press release on the employment and salaries secured by the graduates of the class of 2010. It is not a happy picture, which should come as no surprise.
They had earlier reported (in June) that 50.9% of the 2010 grads had jobs compared to 55.9% of the 2009 class. And more of the jobs are in smaller firms than in earlier-graduating classes. As we will see, this tends to depress the salaries. Part-time jobs make up about 11% of the jobs reported to NALP overall of the jobs requiring bar passage. But part-time jobs are especially prevalent in the academic sector and public interest sector, for jobs requiring bar passage. Only 68.4% of the class of 2010 reported to NALP that they had obtained jobs for which bar passage was required by the time of this report, and only 64% had full time employment in jobs requiring bar passage. 27% of the jobs were temporary, including judicial clerkships. Excluding clerkships, the percent of recent grads holding temporary jobs requiring bar passage is 19%.
Median $63,000 (down ~13%)
Mean $84,111 (down ~10%)
* All figures for those reporting full time work. Note that there is a large discrepancy between large firm salaries, which tend to cluster between $145-160,000 and small firm and other salaries, which cluster around $40-65,000. This means that there are very few salaries that actually fall anywhere near the mean or median points. They should actually skip this national overall analysis and just do the separate analysis for large firm rates and small firm and alternate practice rates, I think!
By type of work:
Median $104,000 (down ~20%)
$93,748 (they did not include the 2009 figure)
Virtually no change from last year for public service & government salaries. So most of the downward pressure on the salaries is coming in the law firm market.
I recommend reading the short report in full, though it is not happy news.