A down economy hasn’t dampened aspiring lawyers’ confidence in their ability to get a job in the legal field – just their confidence in their peers’ ability to do so. According to a recent Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions survey of 330 pre-law students*, 52% report that they are “very confident” that they will find a job in the legal field after graduating law school and passing the bar, but only 16% say they are “very confident” that the majority of their fellow aspiring lawyers will do the same. In fact, only seven percent of respondents indicated a lack of confidence in their own ability to secure employment upon graduation. Pre-law students’ attitudes are in keeping with research showing that students aged 18-29 are more optimistic about their economic future – despite a sluggish job market – than past generations.**

“Pre-law students’ confidence in their own job prospects are likely an indication not just of self-assurance, but of their optimism in an economic turnaround,” said Jeff Thomas, director of pre-law programs, Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. “What’s interesting is the drop-off in confidence in their peers, which perhaps may just be an indication of the general competitive atmosphere that exists between pre-law students.”

Thomas also noted that he’s witnessed a growing number of pre-law students pursuing law degrees with the intent of seeking non-lawyer jobs. According to the National Association for Law Placement, as recently as 2008, only 56% of new law school graduates were working at a law firm, down from 64% in 1998.

Also in the Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions survey:
  • 39% say that the economic downturn impacted their decision to apply to law school.
  • Only 5% of those surveyed say they think it is a smart admissions strategy to send a Facebook friend request to law school admissions officers.
  • If given the choice of submitting as part of their law school application a perfect 180 on the LSAT, a perfect 4.0 GPA or a letter of recommendation from a Supreme Court justice, 80% would opt for a perfect LSAT score.

For more information on Kaplan’s survey of pre-law students or to schedule an interview, please contact Russell Schaffer at 212.453.7538 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com.

* All survey participants were Kaplan students who took the LSAT in February 2010.** Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next, Pew Research Center, February 2010.

About Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions

Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions ( www.kaptest.com), a division of Kaplan, Inc., is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings and a complete array of books, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as English language and professional licensing exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO)

Copyright Business Wire 2010