Faltering Economy Means a New Reality for Law Students

April 24, 2009 06:30 PM
by Cara McDonough
Traditionally, law school graduates have jobs lined up before they’ve even passed the bar exam, but many now face unemployment. Business and nursing school students also face a weak job market.

Stressful Times for Law Students

For many soon-to-be law school grads in recent years, finding work wasn’t a huge priority. That’s because, historically, nearly two-thirds of the students had already secured a job by the time they graduated.

However, like so many other fields, law is on shaky ground as the economy continues its roller coaster ride. Many law school students in the class of 2009 don’t yet have jobs, according to the New York Law Journal.
Even those who do have job prospects are on edge, according to the story. Many firms have delayed start dates or even withdrawn offers. David Lopez, a 27-year-old who will graduate from Hofstra University School of Law in May, considered moving to Washington, D.C. after he got a second interview with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Then Lopez was told that the agency is holding off on all hires until it finalizes the new budget. Now he’s worried that as a new grad in a dwindling job market, someone more experienced will get the position. The situation “puts us at a disadvantage and our resumes go to the bottom of the pile," Lopez said.

Related Topic: Joblessness ahead for nursing, business students

Other fields are seeing similar trends. Nursing students who graduated during a nursing shortage in years past are now facing joblessness, the Rapid City Journal reports. Although graduating nursing students could once pick “their dream jobs,” now, “hospitals nationally are cutting pay, eliminating raises and laying off employees,” according to the story.

Those in the nursing sector are trying to be optimistic, however, says Linda Young, director of the Center for Nursing Workforce. "At this point, new graduate nurses may not get to pick exactly where they want to go for their first job," Young said. "But we know ... this economic downturn will turn around. ... Historically, nursing is a very secure profession."

Business school students graduating this spring are taking the economic situation in stride, according to a New York Times story. Although jobs at high profile investment banks like Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley were once top choice for enterprising young grads, “the implosion of Wall Street” is forcing a different philosophy to emerge. Some are making a very negative situation into a positive.

Jessica Levy, a senior at Wharton, has noticed a major shift. “A lot of my peers, we’re exploring things that we used to not even think of as an option,” she said. “A finance major who was minoring in music was suddenly looking into opening a jazz club.

According to Levy, the economic crisis meant “there was suddenly permission to pursue something you were interested in that your parents three years ago would have said absolutely no to.”

Reference: Career guides


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