In the competitive field of the law, finding talented young attorneys has rarely been a challenge for most law firms. However, some evidence indicates that there may be an upcoming decline in new associates to hire over the coming years. For instance, the New York Times reports that there has been a sharp drop in the number of students taking law school entrance exams.
Declining Law Student Numbers and Law Practice Management
The data provided to the New York Times comes from the Law School Admission Council who administers the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). According to their statistics, the number of students taking the test dropped more than 16 percent. This is the largest decline that has been seen for more than 10 years.
However, despite this decline, this may not be an indicator that you are going to have trouble staffing your office in a few years. Instead, the Times suggests that the declining number of aspiring young lawyers is caused by the fact that the legal market will be unable to find places for the 45,000 new law students expected to graduate over the next three years.
The Times also addresses the idea that technology is allowing some lower end legal work to be handled overseas as corporations are demanding more cost-cutting from law firms.
Still, if your law practice management plan is not ready to send your legal work overseas and if you are planning on expanding your firm over the next few years, you may want to consider taking action to bring on new associates sooner rather than later if the marketplace of new laws students is going to continue its decline.