Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

California Law School Job Placement Rankings

RankingsDerek Muller (Pepperdine), Visualizing Legal Employment Outcomes in California in 2014:

I thought I'd recreate last year's data on California law school employment outcomes, with a couple of tweaks due to external changes.

A few things jump out from the data. First, there were fewer graduates: there were about 400 fewer graduates from California schools, from 5185 for the Class of 2013 to 4731 for the Class of 2014.

Second, total job placement remained flat. Between 2800-2900 California graduates obtained unfunded positions in the last three years. This year shows that 2849 obtained these unfunded, full-weight positions, good for 60.2% of California graduates--a percentage better than previous years, no doubt, because of the smaller graduating classes.

Third, school-funded positions continue to rise. There were 145 school-funded positions from California schools .Two schools significantly increased school-funded positions: USC went from 12 to 33 (15% of the graduating class), and UC-Irvine went from 0 to 13 (14% of the graduating class). Davis added 9, and Stanford and Loyola each added 5 more school-funded positions, among other more modest changes. (Keep in mind that the Class of 2012 had just 24 such school-funded positions among California schools.)

Below is a graph of the unfunded and funded full-time, long-term, bar passage-required and J.D.-advantage positions.

The chart below that reflects the same data, with the 2016 USNWR peer score, the full-time, long-term, bar passage-required and J.D.-advantage positions, along with year-over-year increase or decline in points from the 2013 rate. It then lists the raw number of students who obtained such positions, along with a parenthetical notation of how many of those positions were school-funded. The same is listed for 2013. [See charts here.]

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink


Wow, UC Irvine doubled down on the funded positions, huh? Funny thing is that it's too late since they won't get the rankings benefit given U.S. News' recent methodology shift.

Interestingly, when you subtract out the 13 folks reported as employed in school-funded full time, long term, Bar required or JD advantage positions, you see a very different picture of UC Irvine's (and the other schools' with high funded positions) placement in "real" full time, long term Bar Req'd/JD advantage jobs: a modest 70.96% (79 - 13 = 66 / 93 = .7096).

UCI, in true law school form, features the 86% "employed" figure prominently on its web site, requiring detective work and knowledge of the funded position scheme to get at the "real numbers." Also, it appears that there is no info regarding what those funded jobs pay, or consist of, from what I can tell.

Nothing against UC Irvine per se, other schools are doing the same, but it's decision to go from 0 funded positions to 13 (all in the long term full time bar required/jd advantage category, curiously *ahem*) is striking considering that their graduating class for 2014 was only 93, so from 0% to 14% funded (13 / 93 = .139). And it's no secret that UC Irvine throws the deep ball when it comes to it's U.S. News Ranking. Ugh.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 21, 2015 1:38:51 PM