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Law Grads Faring Well In Today’s Job Market

Law Grads Faring Well In Today’s Job Market

Luce Forward Adds Construction to Its Real Estate Practice


by Pat Broderick, Staff Writer

Some law grads may dream of serving on the U.S. Supreme Court, or dazzling jurors with their oratory, or maybe they yearn to toil in the trenches and make the world a better place.

So, what’s happened to the Class of 2003?

The National Association of Law Placement, experts in legal career planning and recruitment, has issued its Jobs & J.D.’s: Employment and Salaries of New Law Graduates , Class of 2003.

According to the survey:

– & #8201;In the last six years, the employment market for new law school grads has remained strong, close to or above an 89 percent employment rate. This compares with the early and mid-’90s, when employment rates were in the 84 percent-to-85 percent range.

– & #8201;The median starting salary for full-time jobs was $55,000, compared with $60,000 for the Class of 2002.

– & #8201;For the first time since 1992, the median salary at law firms decreased, from $90,000 in 2002 to $80,000, reflecting a small increase in the percentage of law firm jobs taken in smaller firms.

How do San Diego law grads measure up?

For the 340 jobs taken by the Class of 2003, most (68.5 percent) were in private practice; followed by business (10.3 percent), government (8.2 percent), judicial clerkships (6.8 percent , 95.7 percent of those on the federal level), and public interest (2.6 percent), including advocacy, civil liberties and charitable work.

The numbers don’t add up to 100 percent because a few smaller categories weren’t included in the chart.

Of the 233 jobs taken at San Diego law firms, most of them were in shops of two to 10, while 90 percent of the starting salaries were in the $35,360 to $135,000 range, according to the survey.

– – –

Building Beat: Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP has added construction to its real estate law, real estate litigation and business practice areas.

Partner Roger C. Haerr will head up the new team, which includes managing partner Robert J. Bell; partner David M. Hymer; associate Lynn A. Borkenhagan; partner John B. McNeece III; and partner Valentine S. Hoy.

Also, partner Christopher H. Findley; partner Christopher K. Barnette; partner Robert D. Buell, all of the San Diego office; and partner Cathy L. Croshaw in the San Francisco office will be members of the team.

– – –

On Board: Veteran hospitality industry lawyer Diana S. Barber of Atlanta has joined Shea Stokes & Carter’s San Diego office.

She previously served as vice president and associate general counsel for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., L.L.C.

Barber earned her law degree, cum laude, from the Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University, in Macon, Ga., and an undergraduate degree in criminal justice from the University of South Florida.

Contact Pat Broderick at (858) 277-6359, Ext. 3112


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