Korea Suffers Lawyer Glut

Taylor Reese, Jan. 9, 2019, 9:21 a.m.


Demand for lawyers is falling and recent graduates often struggle to find jobs as law schools proliferate.

Of the estimated 1,500 newly qualified lawyers joining the job market every year, just 200-250 can hope to land a coveted job with the country's top 10 law firms, who have the business more or less sewn up between them.

The number of qualified lawyers in Korea broke the 10,000 mark in 2010, a relatively small proportion compared to wildly litigious countries like the U.S., and reached 25,000 Sunday.

But cases are dwindling even as new law schools have opened up, so more newly minted lawyers are vying for an ever-shrinking number of positions.

In-house lawyers in big companies, meanwhile, are being paid less and less and put in more lowly positions.

A conglomerate insider said, "Even at the lower pay grade, a lot more people are competing for the position. There's no guarantee that the quality of the positions won't deteriorate further."




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