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After the JD III: Third Results from a National Study of Legal Careers


After the JD: Phase III

This report contains data for Wave III of AJD, with the third survey of the sample population of lawyers completed in 2012-13. After 12 years, the AJD lawyers have a decade of work experience behind them, and the contours of their careers are more clearly shaped. The timing of the third wave, which followed the global financial crisis of 2008, allows the researchers to examine the effects of the economic collapse on the legal profession and lawyer careers.

The AJD data will allow the research community to investigate a broad range of these multiple factors and to test their importance across time. The topics the study examines include job mobility, career satisfaction, convergence/divergence in the career patterns of women and minorities, indications of continuing inequity by gender and race, family formation and its effects on professional careers, financing legal education, and changes in fields of practice and legal specialties.

In Phase III, career satisfaction remained high for this cohort of professionals, with 76% of the respondents reporting that they are moderately or extremely satisfied with their decision to become a lawyer. However, the earning gap between women and men has continued and, in fact, had grown since Wave II. Similarly, women’s promotions still trailed behind those of their male counterparts.