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Here's where local law school grads are working

Here's where local law school grads are working
Nationally, for the class of 2020, the aggregated data from 197 law schools showed that 26,638 — or 77.4% of total law school graduates — were employed in full-time jobs roughly 10 months after graduation, down 2.6% from 2019. ABA said the change likely reflects the pandemic’s impact on the legal market, cancellations and delays to bar admission exam administrations and an approximately 1.4% increase in the size of the graduating class. Almost half, or 48%, were working at law firms.

Of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law’s 2020 graduates, 26 were employed at firms with up to 10 lawyers and 20 were working for large firms with 500 or more, the ends of the size spectrum, kind of a barbell formation.

At Duquesne School of Law, 31 were working at firms with up to 10 attorneys, eight at firms with 11-25, and eight at those with 500-plus. None were working as sole practitioners.

Beyond firms, Pitt’s biggest sector was business, where 20 were employed, followed by public interest, with 13.

Some 13 Duquesne Law grads were working for the government while 12 were employed by companies. Comas said this reflects the graduates’ interest areas.

Opportunities to go in-house are likely to be strong for the class of 2021. Lori Carpenter, president of recruitment firm Carpenter Legal Search Inc., is seeing an increase in corporations adding to their in-house legal teams at all levels nationwide.

“In 2019, in-house hiring was strong as corporate legal budgets grew and legal departments expanded practice area capabilities,” Carpenter said. “In 2020, while there was a pause at the outset of the pandemic, some legal departments took the opportunity to hire in the second quarter, with an even stronger uptick in the third and fourth quarters.”

Corporations embraced virtual hiring, employing those who planned to relocate when it was safe to do so and others who would continue to work remotely.

“With the rise in outside counsel fees, many organizations are finding that it is more cost-effective to build an in-house legal team sooner rather than later,” Carpenter said.

Read More: Here's where local law school grads are working - by Patty Tascarella, Pittsburgh Business Times

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