Paul L. Caron
Dean





Saturday, April 25, 2015

Class of 2014 Law School Job Placement Rankings

RankingsMatt Leichter, Class of 2014 Employment Report (Leaked Edition):

I’ve been peeking daily at the ABA’s employment summary Web page.  On Friday morning, the class of 2014 data appeared ...  Yet when I returned Friday afternoon, I found it was gone … But not before I downloaded the spreadsheet. ...  I’ve run the numbers, so I just have to leak the results.

58.7 percent of graduates held full-time jobs requiring bar passage, up from 55.9 percent for the class of 2013. However—and this is very important—the actual number of graduates in such jobs fell to 25,292 from 25,762 last year, about a 1.8 percent decline. [43,115 graduated from an ABA-accredited law school outside of Puerto Rico in 2014, compared to 45,824 in 2013, a 4.8% decline.]

Leichter 2

[Here is] the comparison table for each law school, sorted by their 2014 percentage of graduates in full-time bar-passage required jobs less school-funded positions:

Full-Time/Long-Term in Bar-Passage-Required Jobs
(Excluding Law-School-Funded Jobs)

RankLaw School’13’14Change
1. Pennsylvania 85.7% 91.4% +5.7%
2. Cornell 81.3% 90.1% +8.8%
3. Duke 85.1% 87.9% +2.8%
4. Columbia 88.3% 87.2% -1.1%
5. Chicago 86.5% 87.1% +0.6%
6. NYU 86.2% 86.0% -0.2%
7. Harvard 84.9% 85.5% +0.6%
8. UC-Berkeley 78.4% 85.4% +7.0%
9. Stanford 85.1% 85.0% -0.1%
10. Virginia 79.7% 84.8% +5.1%
11. Michigan 81.2% 81.8% +0.6%
12. New Mexico 73.7% 80.2% +6.5%
13. Kentucky 74.4% 80.2% +5.8%
14. Northwestern 77.5% 78.4% +0.9%
15. Iowa 76.3% 77.8% +1.5%
16. Boston College 64.0% 74.4% +10.4%
17. Minnesota 68.2% 73.7% +5.5%
18. Nebraska 66.1% 73.5% +7.4%
19. Vanderbilt 78.2% 73.2% -5.0%
20. Washington University 66.0% 72.9% +6.9%
21. Alabama 71.7% 72.5% +0.8%
22. Ohio State 60.4% 72.4% +12.0%
23. LSU 67.4% 72.4% +5.0%
24. Washburn 62.9% 72.3% +9.4%
25. Seton Hall 68.9% 72.3% +3.4%
26. UCLA 66.6% 71.7% +5.1%
27. Texas 75.1% 71.5% -3.6%
28. Georgia State 62.6% 71.2% +8.6%
29. Georgia 68.4% 70.6% +2.2%
30. Arizona State 61.8% 70.2% +8.4%
31. SMU 70.9% 69.7% -1.2%
32. Georgetown 72.4% 69.6% -2.8%
33. Yale 74.4% 69.6% -4.8%
34. Wake Forest 58.5% 69.5% +11.0%
35. Florida 66.4% 69.3% +2.9%
36. Mercer 65.6% 69.2% +3.6%
37. North Carolina 68.1% 68.7% +0.6%
38. Oklahoma 66.3% 68.5% +2.2%
39. Tulsa 58.0% 68.4% +10.4%
40. Idaho 62.4% 68.3% +5.9%
41. Miami 60.7% 68.2% +7.5%
42. BYU 64.6% 68.1% +3.5%
43. Kansas 64.2% 68.1% +3.9%
44. South Dakota 62.0% 67.9% +5.9%
45. Boston University 61.2% 67.9% +6.7%
46. Fordham 63.4% 67.8% +4.4%
47. Baylor 70.5% 67.6% -2.9%
48. Montana 69.1% 67.5% -1.6%
49. Florida State 69.6% 67.2% -2.4%
50. Colorado 67.0% 66.7% -0.3%

The bottom 10 law schools are:

190. Charlotte 34.6% 34.1% -0.5%
191. San Francisco 35.5% 33.0% -2.5%
192. Western State 37.4% 32.7% -4.7%
193. Florida A&M 38.5% 31.0% -7.5%
194. UMass 25.2% 30.9% +5.7%
195. WMU Cooley 26.9% 30.0% +3.1%
196. Thomas Jefferson 29.0% 29.7% +0.7%
197. Whittier 26.7% 27.3% +0.6%
198. District of Columbia 25.0% 26.2% +1.2%
199. Golden Gate 22.4% 24.6% +2.2%

Update:

Brian Tamanaha (Washington University):

Overall the news is good. Employment percentages are rising because the size of the graduating class is shrinking. The general percentage in full time long term JD jobs went up to 58.7% (55.9% last year). The actual number of JD jobs declined, however, which suggests that the legal employment market is not improving as much as we had hoped. These data are 10 months out, compared to 9 months in prior years, but it doesn't look like the extra month made much difference. It's good that the percentage in full time JD jobs is improving, but it still remains less than ideal. The more hopeful news is that this percentage should rise significantly in coming years owing to the ongoing decline in the number of applicants.

There is one more key piece of good news/bad news: the unemployed-seeking rate is down 9.5%, though still very high.

Matt Leichter:

Helpfully, Professor Seto commented on my post with a link to Derek Muller's analysis for California. Muller looked at FT/LT bar-passage-required and J.D.-advantaged jobs, both funded and not, which is broader than what I did. I replicated Muller's methodology with the ABA data and the results were nearly identical—only six fewer Stanford graduates.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2015/04/class-of-2014.html

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

@terry
Actually, it's more like:

Year 1 - 100 jobs 200 graduates
Year 2 - 90 jobs and 150 graduates

From BT above: "The actual number of JD jobs declined, however"

Posted by: jon | Apr 29, 2015 6:35:32 PM

@anon

Econ 101.

year 1 - 100 jobs 200 graduates - 50% employment
year 2 - 100 jobs 150 graduates - 67% employment

Posted by: terry malloy | Apr 27, 2015 3:54:42 AM

BT says: "Overall the news is good. Employment percentages are rising because the size of the graduating class is shrinking."

Umm, what? Will you run that by me one more time?

Posted by: Anon | Apr 26, 2015 4:56:45 PM

@Northeastern Unemployed And? Those people are probably making the same 30k salary as the Seton Hall graduate in a JD Req'd. Why give more weight to one over the other?

Posted by: Anon | Apr 26, 2015 11:04:38 AM

Could you discuss the fact that many of the schools with the best employment numbers have a ridiculous amount of university funded positions? Yale has 20; Harvard has 28; Columbia has 31.

Posted by: Gender Inflation | Apr 26, 2015 10:43:07 AM

Five of the bottom ten schools are in California.

Posted by: PaulB | Apr 26, 2015 9:20:45 AM

35.6% Santa Clara grads in FT bar passage required positions. That's dismal.

Posted by: man alive | Apr 26, 2015 8:26:31 AM

@Anon,

From Law School Café:

"The category is so flimsy that paralegals and graduates in administrative positions at law firms count as JD Advantage.... According to NALP, 41% of all class of 2013 graduates in JD Advantage jobs were still seeking another job nine months after graduation. Graduates in Bar Passage Required jobs were one-third as likely to indicate the same." http://www.lawschoolcafe.org/thread/note-to-law-schools-show-your-work-on-jd-advantage-jobs/

Shockingly, more people in "JD Advantage" jobs are paralegals or real estate agents than consultants at McKinsey or Goldman Sachs - this despite certain prawfs' utopian-Marxian statements that are law school grads are the same, earn the same, are employed at the same rates, have no earnings difference between recession and boom-era employment, and so on and so forth.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Apr 26, 2015 6:06:26 AM

To the college senior dead set on going to law school, review these data. This list is more important to your decision than is US News. If you are thinking, I'm from Omaha but I'd like to work in Washington, I strongly suggest you compare Nebraska's good data with GW and American's terrible data.

Posted by: Jojo | Apr 26, 2015 4:24:46 AM

This should end the structural/cyclical debate. The numbers show a decline in jobs persistent 5 years into an overall economic recovery. That the extra month did not goose numbers appreciably I further rules out possible innocent explanations (hired after the bar).

Yale's ft/lt ranking probably is artificially low because of good jd advantage opportunities. The rest- not so much.

These data are not good.

Posted by: Jojo | Apr 26, 2015 4:06:36 AM

This list is utterly useless for gauging employment outcomes given that it leaves out JD Adv. It's like saying JD Adv. jobs are not good outcomes, when, in fact, they are some of the most lucrative and sought after positions.

I don't see the point of compiling a list in this fashion.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 25, 2015 10:36:58 PM

Also, Leichter's list only considered full time bar required jobs (less school funded) but it would be helpful to see FT/LT bar req'd plus FT/LT JD Advantage (less school funded) because these jobs are given full weight for U.S. News ranking purposes, and quite frankly, the U.S. News ranking implications of these data are the only thing many of the folks reading this blog (professors) really care about...

Posted by: Anon | Apr 25, 2015 2:53:11 PM

The startling surprises in how these school shake out suggests to me that there are wildly divergent views on what is meant by "Full-Time/Long-Term in Bar-Passage-Required Jobs," and that accordingly, the usefulness of the entire chart is in question. The most useful metric I've seen continues to be the % going to NLJ250 firms, although this still has some imperfections of course.

Posted by: anon. | Apr 25, 2015 2:47:17 PM

Ted - the first column is 2013, second column is 2014, which is confusing at first glance but it is ranked by the second column and therefore current.

Posted by: Hop | Apr 25, 2015 1:33:36 PM

Mr. Leichter's numbers all appear to be one year out of date and his rankings therefore incorrect. The correct numbers for the class of 2014 for California schools can be found at http://excessofdemocracy.com/blog/2015/4/visualizing-legal-employment-outcomes-in-california-in-2014. It may be that the reason the ABA pulled the spreadsheet is that it discovered the error.

Posted by: Theodore Seto | Apr 25, 2015 9:58:17 AM

Isn't 2014's data off of 10 months, and 2013's data of of 9 months?

Posted by: antiro | Apr 25, 2015 8:07:27 AM