(ABCNews.com) -- For the first time in decades, the promise of a profitable law career for top students is uncertain, as law schools report significantly reduced hiring rates.
The shrinking job market results from two years of financial insecurity, which is beginning to affect the way firms operate, recruit and hire.
"There is no ducking the fact that the students who walked across the stage in this year's Sunflower Ceremony are having more trouble finding good jobs," Larry Sager, dean of the University of Texas law school, wrote in a recent online message to alumni. "And internships for our 1Ls and 2Ls [first years and second years] are becoming scarcer."
Law schools across the country are seeing a reduction in the number of firms participating in the recruitment process. Harvard Law School reported a 20 percent reduction in the number of employers participating in recruitment, according to assistant dean for career services Mark Weber, while New York University, Georgetown and Northwestern reported on their Web sites that on-campus interviews are down by a third to a half when compared with recent years.
The University of Texas at Austin experienced a 45 percent decrease in on-campus interviews and seven of Texas' nine American Bar Association-accredited law schools have said fewer employers will visit their campuses this year.
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