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From Boom to Bust: Nevada Attorney Pay Declining

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on August 08, 2011 6:46 AM

Have your heard the news? Everything in the Nevada attorney job market is awesome. Pay is increasing, there are dozens of new positions opening up every day, and people would love to hire fresh grads with no experience!

Well, maybe not. That kind of news would happen in an ideal world, but unfortunately, in today's economy, news about the attorney job market is still as dire as ever.

And, next up on the sad legal market news roundup is the great state of Nevada, where attorney pay is declining.

A recent State Bar of Nevada survey found that average base salaries for attorneys under the age of 36 who have practiced for less than 5 years is down, from $80,001-85,000 compared to a 2007 figure in which they made $10,000 more.

Of course, keep in mind that these statistics are for base salaries for attorneys. Surely, there are some law grads who tried (and failed) looking for legal employment who aren't exactly factored into this mix.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas' Boyd School of Law graduates are finding jobs still in the tight market, but of course not all in the legal field. Out of the 136 graduates who managed to find jobs, 73 got into private practice, 27 became clerks, 14 went into business, 12 into "other government jobs," 7 went into public interest, and 3 went into academia. Not a bad range of jobs - but their starting salary was on average was $71,456, which is actually less than what Boyd's 2007 class earned as fresh grads.

Attorney jobs are also contingent on what kind of practice attorneys are trying to break into. Bankruptcy law seems to be a hot practice area (duh), reports the Las Vegas Sun.

Maybe this sad news isn't exactly news for most attorneys anyway. It seems that the Nevada attorney job market is probably pretty similar to most markets: lower starting salaries and less places hiring. Woe for all unemployed and employed attorneys everywhere.

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