The numbers are dramatic: By a couple measures, the job market for new law school graduates is the toughest it's been since the mid-1990s.

But I also heard some optimism from schools and recent grads that things have been picking up in recent months.

Nancy Lochner, director of career services for Hamline University School of Law, said this:

Definitely things have gotten better recently. We’ve seen more postings. There was a time even a year ago when employers wouldn't post their job openings. They really just wanted to do things word-of-mouth.

Big firms had really stalled and minimized their recruiting, but we've seen that slowly build back up. Perhaps it's reached a new level of normalcy.

Sometimes I feel that the days of yore have gotten glorified. I don’t know that it’s even been easy for a graduate to walk out the door and get a job.

Longtime attorneys and recent graduates: What do you say? What's the job market like in Minnesota? Have things improved? In which sectors?