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May 6, 2011 3:49 PM

Legal Industry Adds 1,500 Jobs in April

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

The U.S. legal industry reversed a losing streak in April by adding 1,500 jobs after two straight months of decline, according to the latest monthly employment figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Overall U.S. employment increased by 244,000 jobs in April--the second straight month with a gain of more than 200,000. However, the unemployment rate rose to 9 percent from 8.8 percent last month, as more out-of-work people started looking for jobs again, the government reports.

The good news for the legal sector comes after the industry lost 300 jobs in March and 2,000 in February. (Last month, we reported that legal jobs were down by 500 in March, but BLS has since revised those numbers.)

The legal industry is 1,500 jobs ahead of where it stood at this point in 2010 after many employment ups and downs over the past year.

(Click here for our March jobs report and here for our February coverage.)

The turbulent job market is especially troubling for the throng of lawyers-in-waiting, the law students set to graduate this month. 

Last week, in an article for The New Republic, University of Colorado law professor Paul Campos said the jobs picture is far more dismal than most law schools let on to students.

Law school employment statistics are flawed, Campos wrote--he says the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) and U.S. News and World Report often inflate graduate employment in the legal field. These reports--the ones students largely rely on--include temporary jobs and low-paying gigs that barely require a legal degree, Campos claims.

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