Legal Industry Shrinking: US Lost 2,600 More Legal Jobs in June

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on July 13, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Though there have been reports that some firms have hired their entire 2010 summer associate classes, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' June employment report tells a tale of legal jobs that continue to disappear.

The month of June saw the legal services industry's biggest loss this year, shedding another 2,600 jobs according to the report.

And though there was some glimmer of hope in May, even those semi-positive numbers have been revised to subtract another 500 jobs from the profession.

To be fair, the Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes lawyers, paralegals, notaries, as well as law firm and support staff, as "legal services," so it's difficult to tell where the actual job losses have occurred.

However, there's still a need to be concerned.

On the heels of that wonderful study detailing the number of excess lawyers in each state, the American Bar Association has released its 2011 National Lawyer Population Survey, which counts the number of "resident and active" attorneys in each state.

Though a few states reported a drop in the number of attorneys, the overall total increased by about 2% during 2010, sorely outpacing the availability of legal jobs.

This will likely get worse, as the ABA Journal also reports that law student enrollment is up despite adequate warnings by the classes of 2008 and 2009, and of course, The New York Times.

If you're saddened by this news, buck up. It's time to do everything you can to hold onto your job. And if you don't have one, find one quick--there may be even fewer legal jobs once the class of 2011 starts looking again.

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