Law degrees have been hailed as the ‘generalist degree’ of our time.
While some students embark on the rigorous course as the stepping-stone into a legal profession, many others are using this degree as a passport into a wide range of careers.
The enrollment rate for domestic law students in Australia has grown by 31 per cent between 2001 to 2016. So, with so many students doing law… is the ‘Ooh!’ factor still there?
Financial Review journalist Edmund Tadros has written about the subject recently stating:
“There are now 36 law schools (in Australia) and the increase in enrolments has only accelerated since university places were uncapped.
These students add to a pipeline of law graduates set to add even more competition to the more than 12,000 graduates finishing a tertiary-level legal qualification each year.
The job market for graduates is VERY competitive and law firms have the luxury of taking their yearly pick from a group of high-calibre candidates.
John Humphrey, Executive Dean of the QUT Faculty of Law has commented that students are the ones who ultimately bear the responsibility for their choices. “I think that universities have got to be careful not to mislead students into making choices based on false information on the likelihood of job outcomes,” he explains to Financial Review.
Conversely, the Head of Law at Deakin University, Mirko Bagaric, has told Financial Review that his student numbers were steady and denied an oversupply of law students due to the transferability of skills and knowledge acquired during undergraduate law study to a range of other industries.
We need to ask, are they likely to obtain a greater earning capacity at the end?