Paul L. Caron

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Are 'J.D. Advantage' Jobs a Good Employment Outcome for Law Students?

Derek Muller (Pepperdine), What About "J.D. Advantage" Jobs?:

Employment metrics generally seek to identify what schools provide some level of "quality" employment outcomes. ... One category of employment is "J.D. advantage." Is it a quality outcome? ...

Most reasoning, so far, has been essentially seat-of-the-pants judgments that they're good [U.S. News] or bad [Law School Transparency]. I thought I'd dig into a few of the data points regarding them. Here are a few thoughts. ... .

The case for including "J.D. advantage" jobs as quality employment outcomes

Commensurate salary. According to NALP, J.D. advantage positions held salaries comparable to those in bar passage-required, with a major exception: private practice.


The case against including "J.D. advantage" jobs as quality employment outcomes

Not really commensurate salary. The median salary for J.D. advantage outcomes is about $5000 lower than the bar passage required salaries. ...

Disproportionately lower-ranked schools. Yes, Harvard has a good number of J.D. advantage graduates. But how do all schools match up?... Lower-ranked schools tended to have a higher number of individuals employed in J.D. advantage jobs. That may weigh against including it in a quality employment metric. ...

Low job satisfaction. ... Nearly half of all graduates in J.D. advantage jobs were seeking a different job. That suggests a relatively low level of satisfaction with employment.

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