Job prospects finally look a bit better for new law graduates, as we reported Wednesday, although the sunny news is partly due to fewer people enrolling in, and graduating from, law school, leaving less competition for the best jobs.?
At some schools, though, job placement rates for coveted positions ? ones that require passing the bar, or where students with a J.D. are given a closer look ? far exceed the 60 percent overall number the American Bar Association reported this week.?
Below are the 10 schools with the strongest record for getting their students these types of full-time, long-term jobs, according to this week’s ABA employment report, which reflects outcomes for more than 200 schools and includes positions the programs themselves funded.?
Eight of the 10 schools on the list are also in the top 10 on U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of law schools (Cornell and the University of Michigan are the two other schools with stellar job results). Two schools, though, are conspicuously absent: Yale, ranked first by U.S. News and widely considered one of the most elite American law schools, and Duke, which ranks eighth, do not make the cut.
That’s not surprising to Kelly Voight, Yale’s executive director of career counseling, who says some of the school’s graduates may not actually be interested in becoming lawyers. A chunk of Yale’s graduates are passing up jobs at law firms for political jobs, jobs in management consulting, or even finance or startup gigs, which Voight says are “often harder to get and more competitive than going to work for a Wall Street law firm.”?
“If you were to interview some of our graduates who are in Capitol Hill positions, and you were to suggest to them that by not taking a job at [elite New York firm] Sullivan & Cromwell they didn?t get the full value out of their law school, I think they would be insulted.”
Eighty-six percent of Yale students who left the school last year took long-term, full-time jobs where passing the bar was a must or having a J.D. was preferred. For future law students who want a more traditional path, here are the schools best at securing graduates steady legal jobs.?
1. University of Pennsylvania?
University of Pennsylvania Law School. Jeffrey M. Vinocur/Wikipedia
U.S. News 2016 Ranking: 7
Cost per year: $56,916?
Share of 2014 graduates placed in full-time, long-term jobs that require passing the bar, or favor applicants with Juris Doctor degrees: 97.8%?
2. New York University
Legal job placement: 96.7%
3. University of Virginia
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