Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Average Starting Salaries For Graduates Of The 144 Law Schools Ranked By U.S. News

U.S. News & World Report, What Type of Salary You Can Expect With Your Law Degree:

Many high-paying law firms recruit recent J.D. grads from top-ranked law schools. In U.S. News' 2019 Best Law Schools ranking, law school degree grads from the class of 2016 who completed their degree at an institution ranked among the top 15 earned $180,000 on average in the private sector, according to data submitted to U.S. News by 179 ranked law schools in an annual survey. ...

Prospective and current law students can compare salary data in the interactive graphic below for law schools ranked in the top 144 of the 2019 Best Law Schools rankings.

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink



Oh, After the JD like the outcomes for the law school class of 2000? That seems super relevant in 2018, a solid decade into the law school crash. (again, real dollar median starting salary still down 18.5% from the class of 2008, with far fewer license-required jobs to go around). Maybe next you'll show us a study showing the great worth of a NYC taxi medallion that stopped measuring the year before Uber and Lyft decimated the value of NYC taxi medallions?

Hey, you want to talk about the study showing that $30k in student loan debt equals $325k in lost wealth by retirement and discuss what that means for the average $150k law school debt?

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Aug 5, 2018 7:07:18 PM

The citation is After the JD III which shows law graduates from even low ranked law schools earning > $100K at the median after 12 years.

Note also that starting salaries ignore bonuses and retirement matching contributions, which add another 10% to 25% to earnings.

Posted by: public | Aug 5, 2018 1:48:45 PM

Is that misusing the word "average" when it should say median?

Posted by: anon | Aug 1, 2018 1:39:00 PM

Stats for 3 and 5 years out, for each law school, would be far more meaningful. But, may be hard to get that information from alumni who are under no duty to self-report. I'm doing well, but I certainly wouldn't share that info with my law school!

Posted by: Andy Patterson | Aug 1, 2018 11:17:33 AM

This table keenly illustrates the bi-modal salary distribution curve.

Posted by: Old Ruster | Aug 1, 2018 9:09:54 AM

"A lot of those public sector jobs are judicial clerkships that will only last a year or two before people head to the private sector to make big bucks."

Citations missing. I know a LOT of state clerkship-having law school grads that consider themselves lucky to have moved on to being doc review click monkeys. I know we are all supposed to believe that Seton Hall grads go from traffic court clerkships to Skadden equity partnerships but c'mon. But if you are attempting to (poorly) compare law grads to med grads, then surely you would be in favor of curtailing law school enrollment to roughly the number of FT/LT/license-required jobs, which is down to 23,000 or so now, diminishing steadily in the face of the improving economy and bucking notions of merely cyclical change. Of course medical schools are staffed by professors who have actually held scalpels, too.

Also the 20th best law school per USNWR is Minnesota, which 1) has publicly copped to running a deficit into the tens of millions now, 2) only 24 of 205 grads landed Biglaw, or slightly more than 10%, and 3) has a NALP median starting salary of $62,500. They aren't identical to Columbia Law's outcomes. In fact the delta is more than $100k. Whoops.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 31, 2018 11:02:32 PM

A lot of those public sector jobs are judicial clerkships that will only last a year or two before people head to the private sector to make big bucks.

Guess how much medical residents typically earn fresh out of med school? Just under $60,000.

Lawyers start earning real money sooner.

But the moral of the story is, people graduating from top 20 law schools would be taking a huge paycut if they worked in the pubic sector for long.

Posted by: public | Jul 31, 2018 8:13:03 PM

It's grimly amusing that even in the USNWR consequence-free salary reporting zone, the bulk of the nation's law schools barely pass $60k. That's... appalling for seven years' education. Per NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) the average starting salary for four-year Co2016 college graduates across all majors was $50,359, higher than a shocking number of law schools on this chart. Various four-year STEM majors had average starting salaries between $59k and $71k. Incidentally my own alma mater is featuring an average starting salary that is five figures lower than what they were claiming when I became aware of the school. And not just a little into five figures either. And that's before considering inflation. But I thought lawyer salaries could only go up? /sarc

I look forward to the usual suspect(s) claiming that the outcomes for the class of 1993 are somehow more relevant for today's 0Ls than the last decade's worth of outcomes.

Oh, and as for the underlying veracity of these figures... Well, BC claims a $160k average, which is interesting because only 71 of 227 Co2016 grads landed Biglaw that year. BU claimed $160k too off of 80 of 217 in Biglaw. I guess it's one of those averages meaning "The average salary once we accidentally forget to ask everyone who is out of work, in public interest, at a small law firm, and not practicing law," just as the ABA used to let schools tout before the transparency movement and various US Senators made them stop.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 31, 2018 4:16:01 PM