It took a decade, but the median starting salary among those who graduated law school in 2019 finally eclipsed the $72,000 high mark held by the class of 2009—which were the last to enjoy a relatively strong employment market before the 2008 recession sent things into a tailspin.

New data from the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) show that 2019 law grads earned a median salary of $72,500 and an average salary of $100,540—which is a historic high. That’s just one of many bright spots in the latest NALP hiring report, which found that last year’s law graduates enjoyed perhaps the strongest job market on record. But the report also warns that 2020 law graduates and those who follow in the next several years are unlikely to enjoy the same robust entry-level job market with the COVID-19 pandemic pummeling the economy and sowing uncertainty.

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