Could it be that there are fewer jobs for lawyers but more jobs in the legal services industry?

The above tweet references an interesting article that reinforces the idea that:

“There are lies! Damn lies and statistics!”

The article suggests that although there may be fewer hired as lawyers, that the market for people with a legal education may be strong.

The Article includes:

According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, law firms employed about 90,000 more lawyers and about 80,000 more paralegals in 2014 than at the start of the survey in 2001. At the same time, law firms shed 180,000 to 190,000 legal secretaries, other legal support workers and their supervisors.

The pattern is the same for other occupations at law firms. Low-skilled jobs like bookkeepers, file clerks and in data entry are shrinking, while high-skilled jobs like professional workers, skilled managers and computer specialists are growing.

Lawyers account for less than half of the jobs in legal services. Like most businesses, law firms employ a large number of support personnel. Unfortunately, many commentators on the legal profession have overlooked the crucial distinctions between legal services employment, lawyers and law school graduates.

As a result, they have mischaracterized a decline in the fortunes for low-skilled support workers at a time of expanding opportunities for highly educated workers as stagnation for all.

Law firms have sharply upgraded the education level of their work force, increasing the number of workers with graduate degrees by 100,000 and those with bachelor’s degrees by 30,000. At the same time, jobs for those with one year of college or less have shrunk by 125,000.

Those who say law firms are going through “structural change” may be right. Changes in employment patterns appear to be giving those who are highly educated an even bigger competitive advantage than they have had.