Law degrees are generally regarded as being one of the most secure and lucrative pursuits a college student can make. A surefire way to a six figure salary after years of cramming and studying. For today’s Texas law school graduates, this isn’t the case anymore. Roughly a quarter of all graduates of law schools in Texas are unemployed or underemployed which means they either have not found a job or they are working a job they are overqualified for.
Last year 2072 law students graduated in the state of Texas. 13% of them are currently unable to find any sort of employment in any capacity. 3% of Texan law graduates find themselves working jobs that have absolutely nothing to do with law whatsoever. The reasons for their unemployment are not entirely clear, but many attribute the unfortunate trend to tort reform which has greatly reduced litigation. There may be factors unrelated to law at work behind the unemployment, such as lower oil prices.
The employment figures are much brighter for law graduates taking jobs funded by law schools. The Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law and Baylor Law School was able to find full time employment for 87% of its alumni. Similarly, the University of Texs placed 80% of it’s graduates in professional employment. These numbers much more favorable than the state average of 63% of law school graduates finding work as lawyers.
Despite the gloomy numbers, improvements are being made to get things back on track. Schools like Baylor Law, which zero unemployed graduates after 10 months, are developing career programs for their students. Hopefully, their efforts will pay off and put more students into the work field.