TaxProf Blog

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

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

15 Law Schools Whose Underemployed Graduates Exceed Employed

Following up on my previous post, Database Computes the Real Costs, Opportunities of Law School: Constitutional Daily, Employment Scores: The Fracked Fifteen:

We've been crunching the Law School Transparency employment data and compiled this list of the Fracked Fifteen, the fifteen law schools with Under-Employment Scores [unemployed, part-time jobs, non-professional jobs, and pursuing another degree] higher than Employment Scores [jobs requiring bar passage, less short-term firm jobs and solo practitioners]:

  1. Santa Clara (-28.2%)
  2. Florida A&M (-25.0%)
  3. Golden Gate (-19.5%)
  4. San Francisco (-15.1%)
  5. Barry (-13.2%)
  6. Whittier (-13.1%)
  7. Chapman (-11.7%)
  8. Western New England (-10.4%)
  9. Toledo (-7.4%)
  10. Florida Coastal (-6.7%)
  11. Detroit-Mercy (-4.9%)
  12. John Marshall (Atlanta) (-3.6%)
  13. Thomas Jefferson (-2.7%)
  14. Thomas Cooley (-1.4%)
  15. Ave Maria (-1.2%)

There are another 5 schools that comprise a list of dishonorable mention. Their Employment Score is lower than their combined Under-Employment Score and unknown employment status rates. They are: California Western, Texas Wesleyan, New England, Liberty, Capital.

I got a lot of flak for posting Nine Law Schools to Avoid, which lists poorly ranked schools that come with big price tags. Some readers thought it was unfair that their school was listed. Frankly, my mistake was that I should have expanded the list. So many crummy law schools—and so little time!

Thankfully, Constitutional Daily is lending us a hand, crunching the numbers based on Law School Transparency employment data to come up with the 15 law schools that are bad investments.

Update:  Law School Transparency has corrected the data for:

  • Santa Clara:  a positive 23.0% (53.8% Employment Score - 30.8% Under-Employment Score)
  • Toledo:  a positive 26.1% (43.5% Employment Score - 17.4% Under-Employment Score)

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I can't find Santa Clara in the underlying jobs data base, so how did they reach that conclusion?

Posted by: btraven | May 8, 2012 9:18:36 AM

The University of San Francisco was previously listed as having one of the largest percentage of students working for the law school (instead of in the real job market) after graduation. Was this factored in when listing its -15.1% Under-Employment Score?

Posted by: James Li | May 8, 2012 11:21:03 PM

Five of the 15 in Florida (or with a branch in Florida in the case of Cooley). Sheesh.

Posted by: Tojo | May 9, 2012 6:17:08 AM