Shifting Dynamics in the Perception of Law School Education

May 20, 2013

5274Many pre-law students who are facing a tough legal job market say they plan on pursuing a law degree, not to practice, but to get a competitive edge in the business world.

Kaplan Test Prep surveyed more than 200 pre-law students who took a Kaplan LSAT prep course. Only 5 percent of those surveyed listed salary as the primary reason for applying to law school, compared to 73 percent who cited salary as a motivating factor in 2008. Of those surveyed, 50 percent said they plan to use their law degree in a non-traditional legal field, primarily projecting future employment in the business world (compared to 23 percent who planned to use their JD for business purposes in 2008).

Kaplan points to the American Bar Association’s latest report which shows only 56 percent of 2012 law school graduates were able to find long-term, full-time legal employment, as reason for the large shift in career expectations of pre-law students.

What effect will this have on the legal job market, which is currently overly-saturated, in coming years? And, by extension, the cost and demand of legal services? Do you think this is a good development for the legal market as a whole?