Latest figures suggest that the law offers strong employment prospects even in a recession
A survey of The College of Law’s 2010 Legal Practice Course (LPC) graduates has revealed that, despite the tough economic conditions, more than four out of five have secured a job in the legal services market.
The survey of all full-time students who passed the course in July 2010, carried out by the College’s careers department, found that 84% of the nearly 2,000 students who responded have obtained law-related work.
62% have secured a training contract with a law firm while 22% are working in a paralegal or other law-related role. Overall 91% of LPC graduates are in permanent employment with just 1% describing themselves as unemployed.
These figures contrast sharply with the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, which show that national graduate unemployment currently stands at 20%, its highest rate for over a decade1.
Nigel Savage, Chief Executive of The College of Law, said: “The College prides itself on providing its students with the very best professional legal education and first-rate careers service and these figures reflect that. To have such extremely positive employment figures is all the more impressive considering that the 2010 graduates were the worst affected by the recession across all industry sectors. In the legal sector specifically, the deferral by law firms of substantial numbers of training contracts from the previous years into the 2010 trainee intake made it particularly challenging for this cohort to secure jobs."
Despite the difficult conditions the percentage of College of Law 2010 LPC graduates found by the annual careers survey to be in legal work comes close to the average over the past three years of 86%.
“Students and their parents are worried more than ever about the jobs market after they graduate. However our results show that our students get a real and substantial benefit from having invested in studying at The College of Law,” said Prof Savage. “We provide a best-in-business specialist careers service and students also benefit from our close links with the legal profession, which includes exclusive training arrangements with three of the six biggest law firms in the world."
The College’s latest employment figures come on the back of recent statistics, which suggest that the legal sector continues to offer strong employment prospects even during an economic downturn.A report published by High Fliers Research titled The Graduate Market in 2011 shows that this year the legal sector is offering the second highest graduate salaries out of all industry sectors in the UK with a median of £38,000, just behind investment banking at £42,0002.
The same research predicts that graduate vacancies in law will increase by 4.5% in 2011 compared with 2010.
Figures published by the Office for National Statistics in its most recent Labour Force Survey indicate that between 2001 and 2010 employment in the UK legal sector grew at nearly five times the rate of growth in total employment.
While total employment went up by 4%, employment in the legal profession rose by 18.5%. In 2010 total employment shrank by 0.3% compared with 2009, however employment in the legal profession actually increased by 5%3.
Finally the most recently available survey by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit on the destinations of UK degree graduates found that law graduates from 2009 had the lowest unemployment rate out of all other subject areas at 6.2%. This compares with 16.3% for computer science and IT graduates, 14.6% for media studies graduates and 13.3% for electrical engineering graduates4.
Prof Savage said: “While there has undoubtedly been a squeeze on solicitors’ training contracts over the past three years, all the evidence points to the fact that the legal profession continues to offer strong career prospects for graduates even during tough economic times, especially compared with other sectors."
In September 2012 The College of Law will be launching a two-year undergraduate LL.B law degree, which focuses specifically on boosting students’ employment prospects. It will include employability workshops to help students understand and exploit the career opportunities inherent in the fast-changing legal services market.
Further information from Lucy Wray, Press Officer, The College of Law on 01483 216072 (firstname.lastname@example.org)