Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Texas Has the Seventh Largest Lawyer Surplus

Texas has the seventh-largest lawyer surplus compared to other states, with nearly 900 more newly minted lawyers than available lawyer jobs, according to a consulting firm's research.

Recently, Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., an employment-data and economic-analysis consulting firm, researched and compared the numbers of law graduates passing the bar exam in 2009 with estimates of lawyer job openings through 2015. The consulting firm says nationally, 53,508 people passed the bar exam in 2009 but the estimated attorney job openings annually from 2010 through 2015 is only 26,239. Texas came in with the seventh-largest lawyer surplus, with 3,052 people passing the bar exam, but only 2,155 lawyer job openings annually. The study says Texas will have an 897-lawyer surplus every year from 2010 through 2015.

According to the report, the average hourly wage for Texas lawyers is $41.55, which is lower than the national average of $44.22 an hour. The consulting firm found wide differences in median wages state by state: lawyers in the District of Columbia earned the highest median wage of $70.96, while Montana lawyers were paid the least at $24.96 an hour.

Economic Modeling Specialists used Texas bar exam data from the National Conference of Bar Examiners, and job-estimate data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Texas Workforce Commission. [See the report.]

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