If you are a law student or recent graduate looking for a job, you should read an article just out from the ABA Journal: Law Job Stagnation May Have Started Before the Recession—And It May Be a Sign of Lasting Change.
In essence, and in a nuanced analysis, the authors examine historical trends in the legal services market. While many expect things to get back to “pre-crash normality,” the authors are not so sure. They see a vastly changed market for legal services. While that means old strategies won’t work (big firms raising their billable rate by 10% and adding a slug of new associates every year, for example) , with change is also opportunity. Those who recognize the new opportunities will succeed:
And those who wish to rise above the disruption will have to deal with technology that swallows billable work, a world market that takes the competition international, and a more sophisticated corporate client with vast knowledge available at the click of a mouse.
Read the article. Regardless of whether everything they say in fact comes to pass, if you think outside the box about how to use the knowledge and skill you gained in law school, you will succeed. Your skills and knowledge are needed, but many of the opportunities are arising outside of the traditional law firm framework.