Law School Outlook and Legal Employment Outlook

Law School Outlook
After surging in the early 2000's, the number of college graduates applying to American law schools has begun to fall.  As a result, competition for admission to law school is less intense now than it has been for several years.  Law schools continue to seek well-prepared college graduates, however, so students who aspire to law school should expect to be part of a competitive applicant pool.  Amid such a pool, the skills and knowledge acquired by students in SNHU's Pre-Law Program, which is designed to provide students with a solid foundation for learning how to "think like a lawyer" once they arrive in law school, can help them to stand out from other applicants. 

Legal Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities for graduates of American law schools are much more diverse than most Americans believe.  Although some law school graduates become trial lawyers of the type familiar to us from television and movies, many others work as legal counselors, appellate litigators, legislative staffers, regulatory policy-makers, arbitrators, mediators, administrative law judges, or legal educators, or in law-related fields such as legal publishing.  These legal professionals work in a wide variety of settings, including private law firms that range in size from two lawyers to many hundreds, solo practices, regulatory agencies or attorneys' general offices, legislatures, nonprofit organizations, the legal departments of large corporations, law schools, consulting firms, publishing houses, and more. 

Although legal employment opportunities in general tend to be relatively abundant no matter what the state of the economy, opportunities in particular areas of practice or work settings often expand and contract in response to their own peculiar sets of factors.  In private law firms, for example, opportunities in real estate and corporate law tend to increase during economic booms, whereas opportunities in bankruptcy law tend to expand during busts.  Opportunities in other fields, such as environmental law, have been increasing slowly but steadily for decades.  Opportunities in still other fields, such as trusts and estates, tend to remain relatively stable over time. 

Despite these differences, students in the Pre-Law Program need not be concerned about picking an intended area of legal practice.  Even most legal employers expect law school graduates to be generalists when hired.