I suspect that our job market here on the Central Coast of California is similar to many non-urban communities where retirements, deaths, and job transfers provide a regular rotation of new opportunities for young lawyers. That is why in many smaller communities such as our’s, there are new lawyer jobs available. We realize that our law school is a big (actually the only) fish in a very, very small pond. We are the only law school located between San Jose and Santa Barbara. Therefore our graduates do not usually compete against graduates from other law schools for local law-related jobs. Furthermore, because we are an evening program, many of our graduates are already working during law school at the firm or office where they intend to be employed after graduation.
I have also heard from local employers that they actually prefer MCL graduates because of the “local” tie and greater likelihood that as a new hire, they will stay in the area, rather than get a few years of training and head back to the big city. New lawyer salaries in our community are similar to those in other non-urban settings, generally starting in the $50-60,000 range and increasing with experience. Of course, we also have the benefit of being located on the beautiful Monterey Bay with all of the “perks” of living and working in one of the most beautiful places in America.