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Gamjatang

Employment Prospects in the Possible Upcoming Recession

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Hi,

Based on recent developments in the economy, many believe that a deep recession is highly likely to occur. As a soon-to-be law student who will be seeking employment next year, I am curious about how different areas of the legal industry perform in economic downturns (like the one we had in 2008-2009). In addition, how will entry level jobs be affected by recessions - What are the most seriously impacted areas and how serious do you think it will be?

Would appreciate any input :D 

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Honestly, if you're young enough you should consider deferring your offer for a year or two to see how the legal market fares before committing to law school.

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26 minutes ago, Gamjatang said:

Hi,

Based on recent developments in the economy, many believe that a deep recession is highly likely to occur. As a soon-to-be law student who will be seeking employment next year, I am curious about how different areas of the legal industry perform in economic downturns (like the one we had in 2008-2009). In addition, how will entry level jobs be affected by recessions - What are the most seriously impacted areas and how serious do you think it will be?

Would appreciate any input :D 

I think if you ask most lawyers who entered the market during a recession they'll tell you that they all struggled but eventually found reliable and even well paying work. It might set you back a couple years compared to people who didn't graduate in a recession but over the course of a 20+ year legal career I doubt it would make a significant difference on your success and satisfaction. 

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

Honestly, if you're young enough you should consider deferring your offer for a year or two to see how the legal market fares before committing to law school.

I really hope people don't take this seriously. We are experiencing a temporary shock to the economy due to the novel coronavirus. There is no structural problem with the real economy (aside from high corporate debt in some industries). Stimulus packages are already being announced in Canada, the Eurozone, and soon the US. 

OP, what we are experiencing is transitory. If you are entering law school in Fall 2020, perhaps you have a more difficult time finding a law 1L summer internship (which is hard even in good times). By the time the 2L recruitment rolls around, we will be in good shape. 

Edited to add: Most of us here are 20-something year olds and can only remember the Great Recession of 08-09. There is a reason it is called the Great Recession. It was an atypically devastating economic period, that lasted far longer than previous recessions. 

I don't recommend moving forward in life assuming that all economic downturns will be as bad as the last one. 

Edited by dwight98
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1 minute ago, Mal said:

Wait what? Being in law school is great during a recession... Way better than many other options. I started in 2009 just after the recession and by 2012 everything was doing really well.

Yeah, being in law school with a $125,000 line of credit to get you through the next 3 years is pretty kick ass compared to many of the alternatives.

 

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Posted (edited)

The people that will be affected the most by this are the people articling this year and next, no? If you're graduating in 2024-2025 this won't affect you negatively as much.

 

Look at the hireback rates for the last recession here and compare them to the rates 4 years later...

https://precedentjd.com/hireback-watch/toronto-wide-hireback-numbers/?yr=2009

https://precedentjd.com/hireback-watch/toronto-wide-hireback-numbers/?yr=2013

By the time you graduate things will have recovered. Hopefully. Obviously no guarantees in life.

Edited by wtamow
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38 minutes ago, Gamjatang said:

Hi,

Based on recent developments in the economy, many believe that a deep recession is highly likely to occur. As a soon-to-be law student who will be seeking employment next year, I am curious about how different areas of the legal industry perform in economic downturns (like the one we had in 2008-2009). In addition, how will entry level jobs be affected by recessions - What are the most seriously impacted areas and how serious do you think it will be?

Would appreciate any input :D 

If you're a soon-to-be law student, you're not very likely to be seeking employment "next year"? Isn't Calgary (an important, but not overall decisive market) unique in hiring a reasonable number of 1Ls? Most soon-to-be law students won't be looking for work until at least summer of 2022, at which point things could (likely will) be dramatically different.

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12 minutes ago, Toad said:

Yeah, being in law school with a $125,000 line of credit to get you through the next 3 years is pretty kick ass compared to many of the alternatives.

 

This is how I feel. I'm sweating a bit about having to withdraw more from my LOC than I'd planned... but I'm a hell of a lot better off than people wondering how they'll make rent. 

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Yeah it’s gonna be a tough few months. As a first year associate at a (relatively) eat what you kill shop, I’m scrambling to open as many files as I can before what feels like the inevitable Iull hits. It seems like things are only going to get more restrictive out there in terms of demand for the time being.

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Posted (edited)

I can answer this. I graduated during the fallout of the 2008-09 recession. Back then, my year was lucky enough to have 30+ NYC firms recruit my class year during 2L for after 3L just prior to the implosion. The following year, only 3 firms came. Everyone who got a NYC job got paid to defer their start dates. Also, during my class year, local firms were hiring less people (they recruited months after the NYC firms). This effectively pushed everyone down a rung as now more people who would’ve gotten a job at OCI were competing with everyone else. It was really tough to find a job. I think it was probably worse for the class year behind us. In the end though everyone I know who wanted an articling job eventually found one. 
 

As for what practice areas will do ok and which will suffer, hard to say. I mean I think if anything, bankruptcy and employment might see a bit of an uptick but not by the time you graduate. A lot of those who will suffer from this crisis are small businesses and individuals with service jobs. Certain industries will suffer sure, but firms often have practice groups covering multiple industries. The bottom line in my opinion is that this recession will be temporary, and a lot shorter than the one we had in 2008-09. That one was a true market correction whereas this one is just an (albeit huge) negative externality.

 

Edited by tanx
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BC litigation shop here - when things turn on again, we'll be facing new no-fault motor vehicle legislation from our NDP government which will eventually eliminate thousands of lawyer and support staff positions in BC.  

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20 hours ago, ronlawyer1420 said:

BC litigation shop here - when things turn on again, we'll be facing new no-fault motor vehicle legislation from our NDP government which will eventually eliminate thousands of lawyer and support staff positions in BC.  

horrible move, I wonder if there are any constitutional challenges

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How would Personal Injury Law in Ontario be affected by this?

If anyone has any info (even if it's just current articling students or associates in a different field) I would really appreciate it.

I don't want to create a separate thread because I don't think it would get a lot of responses. 

Thanks in advance. 

-Rob

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22 minutes ago, student0033 said:

How would Personal Injury Law in Ontario be affected by this?

If anyone has any info (even if it's just current articling students or associates in a different field) I would really appreciate it.

I don't want to create a separate thread because I don't think it would get a lot of responses. 

Thanks in advance. 

-Rob

Not at all, it's provincial legislation/jurisdiction

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So I graduated in the year 2000 (wooo! for those of us of a certain age), and was called in 2001.  Just in time to hit the Y2K/9/11 market.

I don't know if the modern market will be better or worse.  I've also spoken with lawyers who survived the Alberta mid-80s deep freeze (the NEP, plus a bunch of lawyer frauds, caused substantial hardship on the profession).

Remember you're looking at a 40+ year career..  The conditions when you graduate are, on the long term, going to have pretty minor impact on your overall career.

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15 minutes ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

Remember you're looking at a 40+ year career..  The conditions when you graduate are, on the long term, going to have pretty minor impact on your overall career.

Unless you're in debt because law school costs a fortune these days and without a legal level paying job, end up declaring bankruptcy.

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59 minutes ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

lawyer frauds 

Sorry, could you please explain what you mean by this and how the job market was affected?

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10 hours ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Unless you're in debt because law school costs a fortune these days and without a legal level paying job, end up declaring bankruptcy.

Ya that’s the problem. Sure careers are long but lines of credit are due right now and those instalments are hefty. Throw in some Toronto level rents and you’ve got a real mess. Fortunately, it looks are like are systems in place to ward off financial ruin for a few months (big banks indicating that you can defer payment for other credit products and not just mortgages; national student loan payments are on hold; etc). 

As a new call, I’m also curious/terrified to see what happens on Bay Street and in the broader legal community 

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