Law School Placement Rates: The Real Figures
Sure, rankings are important, but in the end, students are investing three years (and six figures) for a return. And that return can be summed up in one word: Jobs.
So which schools are the best (and worst) at helping students land them? This week, Gary Rosin, a professor of law at the South Texas College of Law, answered that question.
In a series of posts on The Faculty Lounge, Rosin clarifies an employment rubric for entry-level attorneys in the ABA’s “Bar passage required, full-time, long-term” category. By this, the ABA means these positions require 35 or more hours of work per week and don’t have fixed end dates. In other words, it isn’t temporary contract work.
From working with this data, which was supplied by the ABA for the Class of 2012, Rosin noticed something: The employment rates included law school-funded jobs. For example, George Washington Law reported an 81% full-time employment rate for new grads. However, Rosin’s research found that 21% of those positions were funded by George Washington Law. As a result, 2012 grads of George Washington technically have a net employment rate of 60%.
Rosin notes that two-thirds of law schools don’t fund these internal positions. However, he adds that 10 schools increased their placement rates by 5% or more by folding in school-funded positions. The University of Virginia, NYU, Columbia, and the University of Chicago used this method to increase their employment rates by 14.8%, 12%, 8.1%, and 7.9% respectively.
So which schools have the highest net placement rates? Here are the top 10 performers:
|1.||University of Pennsylvania||94%||3%||92%|
|3.||University of Chicago||95%||8%||87%|
|4.||University of California-Berkeley||86%||0%||86%|
|9.||University of California-Irvine||84%||0%||84%|
|10.||University of Michigan||82%||1%||82%|
Please note that this chart doesn’t weigh other variables, such as starting salaries. The numbers are also rounded to the nearest whole number.
And which schools performed the worst? Here are the bottom 10 schools:
|187T||Western New England University||34%||0%||34%|
|189||Western State University||33%||0%||33%|
|190||University of Detroit-Mercy||30%||0%||30%|
|191T||Thomas Jefferson School of Law||29%||0%||29%|
|191T||Thomas M. Cooley Law School||29%||0%||29%|
|193T||North Carolina Central University||26%||0%||26%|
|193T||District of Columbia||26%||0%||26%|
|195T||University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth||30%||7%||23%|
|195T||University of San Francisco||23%||0%||23%|
|197||Golden Gate University||22%||0%||22%|