Daily Briefs

Unemployment rate increased by 30% for 2020 law school grads

The unemployment rate for recent law-school graduates increased by about 30% from 2019 to 2020. And COVID-19 is likely to blame, according to the American Bar Association.

The ABA released 2020 employment data last week. The report showed 34,420 people graduated from the 197 schools that were ABA-accredited in the U.S. in 2020, a 1.4% increase from 2019.

Of those graduates, about 72% are employed in a role requiring the job holder either pass the bar or be authorized to practice law in at least one jurisdiction. Another 10% hold JD advantage roles. In 2019, those percentages were about 74% and 11%, respectively.

The ABA said the change is most likely the result of COVID-19 on the legal market, canceled and delayed bar-admission exams, and an increase in the size of the graduating class.

The number of graduates who are unemployed increased by 30%. About 8% of all 2020 graduates were still seeking employment, up from 6% in 2019.

The increase was again likely due to COVID-19. The ABA said the delayed and canceled bar exams have made it harder for graduates to find employment. Each year's employment outcomes are measured on March 15, approximately 10 months after spring graduation.


‘Cultural Mindfulness Storytelling’ explored by SADO in online program June 2

The State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) will present “Cultural Mindfulness Storytelling: Capturing the Lived Experiences of our Clients” with Lori James-Townes online Wednesday, June 2, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Familiarity and sensitivity to culture is relevant to many questions regarding effective public defense representation, including:

• How do clients’ cultural backgrounds affect what they are willing to tell their defense teams, how they communicate, or what kind of defenses can be raised in court?

• How are certain practices or actions that are criminal offenses in the state and country handled or perceived in immigrants’ home countries?

• How do different communities or neighborhoods perceive the criminal justice system and public defense team?

• How do defense teams build a trusting relationship with their clients or witnesses who may have information critical to effective defense representation?

For those who don’t consider the above factors in representation, they may find themselves in the middle of an ethical dilemma.

This session will lead attendees in discussions that will increase knowledge and awareness of the importance of sharing a client’s unique story. Participants will learn ways to gather the story in a culturally informed way. From small group discussions, attendees will learn from others’ experiences and challenges when addressing cultural barriers.

James-Townes is president & CEO of Expand-Now LLC. She also serves as an assistant training director for National Association of Public Defense.

To register for the online program, visit www.sado.org/go/culture.  Anyone with questions can email mdavid@sado.org.

Subscribe to the Legal News!
Full access to public notices, articles, columns, archives, statistics, calendar and more
Day Pass Only $4.95!
One-County $80/year
Three-County & Full Pass also available