Everybody has heard about how fabulous the lawyer lifestyle is. If you believe what you see on TV and in the movies, being a lawyer nets you a big paycheck, a fancy house, and an exciting and meaningful job. Of course, being a lawyer has its perks, but it is not all roses and rainbows.
Legal employment is scarcer than it once was. Many recent law school graduates have a tough time finding legal employment in their geographical location and are forced to move elsewhere to get a job. Even when new lawyers do find legal employment, it is often on a contract only basis, meaning the pay is lower and there are no benefits like health insurance, sick days, vacation time, or short and long term disability. Thus, legal employment has become a far more precarious career choice than it once was.
According to a number of sources, legal employment is about to undergo a major structural change. There has been a great deal of talk in the legal community that much of what lawyers do could be done by people who have slightly more education than paralegals but not as much education as someone who has passed the bar exam. As well, there has been some discussion of overhauling the esoteric curriculum that law schools have developed over centuries in favor of a more pragmatic course of study. These course corrections may help to bring the number of legal employment opportunities back to the levels that they were prior to the Great Recession.