In all but a few states across the country, estimates show there are, and there will continue to be far more lawyers trying to enter the workforce than there are legal jobs available, according a recent study.
The study was conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., an employment and economic data analysis firm. The data was first reported by the New York Times, whose home state boasts the largest lawyer surplus in the nation by far.
According to the study, which compares the number of people who passed a bar exam and graduated law school in 2009 to the estimated annual need for new lawyers between 2010 and 2015:
“Just how bad is the job outlook for lawyers? According to our quick analysis, every state but Wisconsin, Washington, D.C., and Nebraska produced more — in some cases, far more — bar exam passers in 2009 than the estimated yearly openings for lawyers in those states.”
Nationwide, there were twice as many bar exam passers, 53,508, in 2009 than estimated annual attorney job openings, 26,239.
Virginia ranked 17th on the list, meaning it has the 17th largest estimated lawyer surplus in the nation.
According to the study, the estimated annual job openings for lawyers in Virginia between 2010 and 2015 is 956. That compares to 1,375 people who passed the bar exam in Virginia in 2009 and 1,435 students who completed law school in 2009. That’s an estimated glut of 419.
The numbers obviously will change depending on the number of bar passers and law school graduates during that period.
New York topped the list with an estimated surplus of 7,687 too many lawyers per year, followed by California and New Jersey with surpluses of 2,951 and 2,193 respectively.