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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Burk: Class of 2011 Employment Outcomes

The Faculty Lounge:  ABA’s Class of 2011 Employment Outcomes Data Show How Rough It Is Out There, by Bernard A. Burk (North Carolina):

I worked up four competing ratios designed to approximate a measure for law schools’ success in placing their most recent graduates in jobs for which their legal education really mattered: ...

  • “% FTLT” is the simplest and easiest ratio to determine.  It is the number of students with full-time, long-term law-license-required jobs divided by the total number of graduates in the class.  This is the ratio that the media has been reporting on (e.g., here).
  • “% Adjusted FTLT” is designed to reflect some realities of the employment market for new law grads.  It adjusts the “% FTLT” ratio in several ways.  In the numerator, it subtracts out the school-funded positions that would otherwise be considered full-time, long-term law-license-required jobs, and also subtracts out those who are working straight out of law school as self-employed solo practitioners (on the theory that this is not a job that these grads “got” so much as one that they slid into in the absence of a “real” job with things like a regular paycheck and supervision).  In the denominator, it subtracts out those graduates who are not really looking for a job.  There are two such categories: those pursuing another graduate degree full-time, and those who self-report (or at least are reported by their schools) as “not seeking employment.”  Of course, these are imperfect adjustments, but they do in my view go a ways toward refining the measure of those whose legal education is justified by the employment outcome.
  • “% Weighted FTLT Law Jobs” reflects the fact that some portion of the positions not requiring a law license will also be outcomes that justify the time, effort and other costs of getting a law degree.  (See criterion (4) above.)  This is the most difficult adjustment to quantify.  I assume that some portion of the “JD Advantaged” jobs were ones that made real and substantial use of the law degree in hiring or in performing the job even though no law license was required.  In the absence of some better measure, I just arbitrarily took one-half of the full-time, long-term “JD-Advantaged” positions and added it to the “% FTLT” numerator.  Suggestions for a more discriminating way to adjust for this concern are solicited.
  • “% Adjusted Weighted FTLT Law Jobs” combines the adjustments in the prior two ratios.  It is designed to most closely approximate the percentage of each school’s Class of 2011 who made real and substantial use of their law degrees in obtaining employment.  I consider this the most accurate measure of good employment outcomes based on the data available, though concededly still a rough fit in many respects. ...

Here’s a table [of all 200 law schools], ordered by US News ranking.

School USN Rank 2011 Graduates  % School- Funded FTLT % FTLT % Adjusted FTLT % Weighted FTLT Law Jobs Adjusted Weighted FTLT Law Jobs

1 205 12% 88% 79% 90% 81%
STANFORD 2 192 2% 91% 91% 93% 93%
HARVARD 3 583 6% 90% 86% 92% 88%
COLUMBIA 4 456 8% 94% 87% 95% 88%
CHICAGO 5 203 12% 88% 77% 92% 81%
NYU 6 466 12% 90% 79% 92% 80%
UC-BERKELEY 7 310 5% 80% 83% 81% 84%
PENNSYLVANIA 7 274 4% 84% 84% 88% 88%
VIRGINIA 7 377 17% 95% 79% 95% 79%
MICHIGAN 10 379 3% 75% 76% 81% 81%
DUKE 11 207 5% 82% 83% 85% 85%
NORTHWESTERN 12 287 4% 77% 78% 81% 82%
GEORGETOWN 13 644 13% 63% 60% 67% 65%
CORNELL 14 201 13% 76% 77% 76% 77%
UCLA 15 344 19% 61% 63% 63% 65%
TEXAS 16 382 3% 70% 73% 73% 76%
VANDERBILT 16 198 16% 74% 75% 75% 76%
USC 18 207 5% 65% 67% 67% 70%
MINNESOTA 19 261 9% 59% 61% 63% 65%
G. WASHINGTON 20 518 16% 81% 67% 85% 70%
U. WASHINGTON 20 182 1% 53% 55% 58% 61%
NOTRE DAME 22 190 23% 62% 64% 64% 66%
WASHINGTON U. 23 317 9% 59% 64% 63% 68%
EMORY 24 225 12% 69% 58% 72% 62%
WASH. & LEE 24 129 9% 55% 57% 60% 62%
ARIZONA STATE 26 201 9% 68% 65% 70% 67%
BOSTON UNIVERSITY 26 273 22% 51% 53% 54% 56%
INDIANA UNIVERSITY 26 195 4% 64% 68% 75% 73%
ALABAMA 29 164 0% 78% 75% 83% 80%
BOSTON COLLEGE 29 285 11% 68% 70% 70% 72%
UC-DAVIS 29 195 10% 56% 58% 58% 61%
FORDHAM 29 428 13% 57% 59% 59% 60%
IOWA 29 183 1% 66% 67% 69% 71%
GEORGIA 34 227 2% 61% 64% 64% 67%
ILLINOIS 35 190 10% 51% 47% 53% 50%
WILLIAM & MARY 35 204 0% 55% 57% 62% 64%
WISCONSIN 35 254 1% 63% 60% 66% 64%
NORTH CAROLINA 38 247 0% 68% 70% 73% 75%
BYU 39 148 9% 51% 50% 54% 53%
GEORGE MASON 39 170 6% 60% 58% 69% 67%
MARYLAND 39 297 11% 47% 48% 55% 56%
OHIO STATE 39 231 5% 58% 61% 64% 67%
ARIZONA 43 158 0% 75% 77% 77% 79%
UC-HASTINGS 44 411 10% 46% 46% 49% 48%
COLORADO 44 176 9% 56% 56% 60% 60%
WAKE FOREST 44 158 6% 56% 55% 61% 60%
UTAH 47 134 3% 69% 64% 72% 67%
FLORIDA 48 409 5% 59% 62% 62% 65%
AMERICAN 49 467 6% 36% 39% 42% 46%
PEPPERDINE 49 229 5% 43% 41% 47% 45%
TOTAL Number 43,979




MEAN Percentage 4% 54% 53% 58% 58%
MEDIAN Percentage 1% 53% 53% 58% 58%

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