TaxProf Blog

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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

ABA Releases Class of 2016 Employment Data: 7% Drop In Law Grads Lead To Placement Rate Increase, Numerical Decrease In Long-Term J.D.-Required/Advantage Jobs

Press Release, ABA Legal Education Section Releases Employment Data for Graduating Law Class of 2016:

Employment data for the graduating law class of 2016 as reported by American Bar Association-approved law schools to the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is now publicly available.

The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has released aggregate national data on law graduate employment outcomes for the class of 2016. An online table provides select national outcomes and side-by-side comparisons between the classes of 2016 and 2015. Individual law school outcomes are available online.

ABA Table 2

Further reports on employment outcomes, including spreadsheets aggregating the individual school reports and comparing outcomes for the past three years, are available on the Legal Education Statistics page of the Section’s website.

The aggregated school data shows that 73 percent of the 2016 graduates of the 204 law schools approved by the ABA to offer the J.D. degree were employed in full-time long-term Bar Passage Required or J.D. Advantage jobs roughly 10 months after graduation. That compares to the approximately 70 percent of the graduates reporting similar full-time long-term jobs last year. The higher percentage of students so employed, however, results from an approximately 7 percent decrease in the size of the graduating class. The actual number of full-time long-term Bar Passage Required or J.D. Advantage jobs declined by 4 percent from 28,029 for 2015 to 26,923 in 2016.

Derek Muller (Pepperdine), Perspective on Legal Employment Outcomes for the Class of 2016:


n short, the good news of the employment picture is almost exclusively a result of law school graduating classes shrinking significantly. Raw job placement has grown slightly and steadily worse over the last few years, while the placement rate has ticked up somewhat — 7 points of improvement in the last few years.

Legal Education | Permalink


So a 10% decline in the actual number of full-time, long-term, license-required jobs since 2012, when the economy was considerably worse. Year nine (at least) of bad news. That's quite a long cycle... [rolls eyes].

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | May 11, 2017 3:18:18 PM

Oh, and per EPI, the unemployment rate for young college graduates is around 5.6%, considerably below the 8.8% unemployment rate for the last year's crop of law school grads. Pretty rough, given that those law school grads have about quintuple the average student loan debtload as the four-year grads.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | May 11, 2017 11:18:40 PM