Lawyers, lawyers and more lawyers: Can the profession cope with the growing numbers of law graduates?
We are often reminded of the startling fact that there are more students currently studying to be lawyers in Australia than there are lawyers practicing law. And the expansion of law schools over the past 10 years means that there will be more and more law graduates entering the labour market in the future. So will there be a crisis in employment in the Australian legal profession in the near future? Will the new graduates have difficulties finding work? And will the practicing profession have difficulties absorbing the graduates? While it is clear that the legal services industry faces a major increase in supply of legally trained graduates it is probably still too early to predict what the precise consequences will be. And it is probably too early to argue that there is a crisis looming. Nevertheless it is worth asking whether we can currently detect early signs of problems in the industry.