Should law schools provide more career support?

Law schools are falling short of student expectations when it comes to careers, Survive Law’s latest survey has found.

The results of the 2014 Australian Law Student Survey show that many law students think their law schools should provide more information about career opportunities, especially those outside of the traditional law firm career path.

Of the 1,581 students surveyed, more than 40% disagreed or strongly disagreed that their law school provided enough information about alternative career opportunities for law graduates.

More than 12% of law students said they did not intend to work in a law firm after graduating, while 33% were unsure.

Of the students surveyed, 60% also believed their law schools should do more to help students secure graduate roles and an alarming 42% said they felt stressed most or all of the time about finding a relevant graduate job.

Law schools fared slightly better when it came to providing information about work experience and employment opportunities generally, with 46% of students agreeing or strongly agreeing that their law school provided sufficient information.

Overall, 20% of students said they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the level of career support provided at their law school, while 28% were satisfied or very satisfied and 52% were ‘neutral’. The number of satisfied and very satisfied students decreased by 7% compared to 2013.

University career services also did not appear to have gained much traction with the wider law student population, with 75% of students indicating that they had not used their university’s career support services at all or had only used them to a small extent.

The Australian Law Student Survey is an annual Survive Law project that aims to find out what law students really think about studying law.

The latest survey was carried out in November – December 2014 and received responses from every Australian law school. The full results will be released soon. In the meantime, you can check out the survey highlights here.

Survive Law would like to thank LexisNexis for sponsoring the 2014 Australian Law Student Survey, which builds on our research from 2013.

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