“Good luck with your layoffs, all right? I hope your firings go really well.”

Flair!So, some of you might have noticed that there have been some “corrections” in the American economy. With those “adjustments” come certain decreases in the demand for new entries in the work force. This has the potential to discourage those in highly skilled industries with demanding educational requirements as what was once a limited and coveted supply becomes superfluous.

In short: the job market for lawyers sucks. Hard.

Normally, changes in the market have only minor effects on the legal community. Maybe hiring would slow slightly, lawyers would be shifted into a different practice area, a couple belts would be tightened, and that would be the end of that. However, 2008 has shown to be a very black year for attorneys. Big firms are making record numbers of public layoffs, while other firms have rumored to be practicing “stealth layoffs” under the guise of performance reviews and shrouded by severance packages with lucrative non-disclosure clauses. Not since the burst of the tech bubble have lawyers been scrambling for work.

Of course, this has made things, shall we say, frustrating for law students in my class who are beginning the OCI process. Law firms have been dropping out of recruitment fairs across the country from schools of all ranks and sizes. The best anecdotal evidence suggests that the average student is receiving way fewer bids for job interviews this year as the market becomes more competitive. It remains to be seen if this is really “bad” news, since roughly the same proportion of students still received interviews. If those interviews turn into jobs, the process hasn’t gone any more poorly for BUSL students but it has been more stressful. We’ll see if the #6 Best Career Prospects title is deserved.

The good news for most of you reading this is that the Class of 2010 is taking this bullet by itself. By next year, it would certainly seem that whoever comes into the White House in 2008 will be able to guide the economy out from this mire and law firms will begin proactively adjusting instead of reactively firing. If you’d like to send your thanks, cookies are good. I like oatmeal raisin myself.