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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Law School Rankings: Externships

Top 25preLaw (Back to School 2013), Top Schools for Externships:

Externship programs continue to expand each year as law schools strive to teach more real life skills and students seek the experi­ence employers desire. Legal educators have been calling for more experiential opportu­nities since the early 1990s. Now, fueled by the need to better prepare graduates, law schools are responding.

This year, 29 law schools reported a reported the percentage of externship opportunities to full-time students at high­er than 40 percent. That is up from only ten schools in 2011. We pulled the data from the ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA­ Approved Law Schools, 2013 Edition, and ranked the top law schools.

Once again, the University of St. Thomas School of Law-Minneapolis had the best ratio of field placement opportunities per student with 712 placements to a full·time study body of 445. ... Northeastern University School of Law was a close second with 891 positions for 604 students. No other law school offered more externships than full-time enrollment. But other schools in the top 10 still reported impressive numbers compared to prior years. Ten other schools reported 50 percent or higher, with 17 more between 40 and 50 percent.

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Schools that can't place their graduates in paid positions during their post 2L summer will do well on this list. That may not be true for all of these schools, but you need to give context to the numbers.

Posted by: HTA | Aug 28, 2013 7:15:29 AM

Let's see:

St. Thomas in Minnesota costs $211,000 and 71 of 161 grads last year managed to leverage their externships into a full-time, long-term, bar license-required job at any salary level within nine months of graduation. Only 5 landed the BigLaw jobs necessary to pay down such an unreasonable amount of debt. Northeastern costs an even more insane $254,000 and 93 of 215 graduates landed the FT, LT, JD-required jobs at any salary within nine months. Only 13 landed jobs at large law firms so they can start to make those $3000/month payments on the standard ten-year repayment plan (yes, $250k in student loan debt is a $3k monthly payment, exclusive of any undergrad debt).

Yeah, it seems that prestige still vastly outweighs externships in legal hiring. Go figure.

Posted by: Unemployed_Northeastern | Aug 28, 2013 9:01:46 AM