Times are tough for today's law students. Big law firms are reducing the size of their summer classes and even graduates of top-ranked law schools are having a tough time finding a job.
Given the state of the economy, it seems an appropriate time to compare two recent surveys to consider whether attending a cheaper, less prestigious law school can still land students lucrative jobs at Am Law firms.
The National Jurist this week released its list of Best Value Law Schools, the 65 schools that offer law students the "best bang for their buck" based on the cost of attending those schools and on the percentage of those schools' graduates who passed the bar and got jobs. (Hat Tip: Paul Caron's Tax Prof Blog.) ...
Another NLJ study, this one in the publication's 2008 Law Schools Report, examined a larger sample size by looking at where graduates from the class of 2005 found work (looking at a graduating class several years later provides a more comprehensive snapshot of job prospects, allowing for jobs taken after clerkships to be taken into account).
Many of the schools ranked this year by the National Jurist appeared on that list, including North Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin, BYU, Georgia State, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Louisville, Kentucky, and Missouri-Kansas City.
Of course, today's legal job market is a far cry from that of 2005. And as law professors William Henderson and Andrew Morriss wrote in The NLJ last year, lower-ranked schools can provide students with more opportunities in the long run. Less debt lessens the need to pursue a job at a large firm.