Paul L. Caron

Monday, April 14, 2008

Law School Rankings by BigLaw Employment

Top Law Schools Tighten Their Hold on NLJ 250 Firms (National Law Journal), by Leigh Jones:

Nlj_chart_2A bigger percentage of students graduating from top law schools in 2007 took jobs at NLJ 250 law firms than those graduating in 2006. Columbia landed in the No. 1 spot again as the school that sent the greatest portion of graduates to NLJ 250 law firms, with nearly 75% of its students in 2007 taking jobs among the nation's largest law firms. The school ranked No. 1 last year, when 69.6% of its graduates went to NLJ 250 law firms. ...

All together, the top 20 law schools that NLJ 250 law firms relied on most to fill their first-year associate ranks sent 54.9% of their graduates to those firms, compared with 51.6% in 2006. ...  In 2007, the top 20 schools sent 3,511 of their graduates to work as first-year associates at NLJ 250 law firms. Total graduates among those schools in 2007 equaled 6,395. In 2006, the 20 go-to law schools sent 3,561 to NLJ 250 law firms out of 6,902 graduates.

Making a big jump in its percentage of graduates accepting positions at NLJ 250 firms was Northwestern. It took the No. 2 spot, compared with No. 11 the year before. Some 73.5% of its 2007 graduates went to NLJ 250 firms, or 172 graduates out of a total of 234. The year before, 143 graduates out of 265 went to NLJ 250 firms, which equaled 54%. ...

Two schools dropped four spots compared with the ranking for 2006 graduates. Stanford had 51.4% of its 2007 graduates go to NLJ 250 law firms, compared with 54.9% of its 2006 graduates. The school dipped to the No. 12 spot, from No. 8 the year before. Boston College, ranked No. 20, sent 36.8% of its 2007 graduates to NLJ 250 firms, compared with 39.1% the year before. It was ranked No. 16 last year.

Two law schools were new to this year's top 20 list, driving two schools off the list. Earning a spot was UCLA, which ranked No. 17. NLJ 250 law firms hired 39.1% of its 320 graduates in 2007. ... In addition, Boston University, ranked No. 18, was new to the list. It sent 113 of its 291 graduates in 2007 to NLJ 250 firms.

Dropping from the list of top 20 schools was Texas, ranked No. 19 last year. Of its 460 J.D. graduates in 2007, 35.2% became attorneys at NLJ 250 law firms. Also falling off the list was Fordham, which was ranked No. 17 last year, when 38.8% of its 2006 graduates went to work at NLJ 250 firms. Of the 498 graduates in 2007, 36.1% took NLJ 250 jobs.


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Dumb, dumb, dumb. If you don't at least take account of fed clerkships your little list is meaningless.

Posted by: Schytzophren | Apr 14, 2008 11:38:41 AM

The ranking is, of course, totally useless as a way of distinguishing among schools in the top 10 or so. For instance, Yale and Stanford presumably send an abnormally high percentage of graduates into clerkships. Those schools' 2007 graduates who clerk would not be counted as hired/employed at large law firms at this point. A substantial number of them, however, will take such a job after clerking.

Posted by: dcuser | Apr 14, 2008 10:06:51 AM