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Columbia Sends Highest Percentage of Grads to Top Law Firms

Posted Apr 14, 2008 7:27 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Columbia Law School is first on a list of schools that send the highest percentage of graduates to the top 250 law firms.

Columbia sent almost 75 percent of its 2007 grads to the top 250 law firms, followed by Northwestern, which sent about 73.5 percent of its grads to those firms, the National Law Journal reports.

Northwestern was 11th on the list last year. Northwestern dean David Van Zandt said the school has focused on making its grads more attractive to big law firms by enrolling more students with postgraduate work experience and more from the Northeast where many of the big law firms are located. The school has also made "a tremendous effort to reach out to employers," he told the NLJ.

Here are the NLJ’s top 10 law schools for the highest percentage hired by the top 250 law firms:

  1. Columbia, 74.8%
  2. Northwestern, 73.5%
  3. University of Chicago, 73.1%
  4. New York University, 72.8%
  5. University of Pennsylvania, 69%
  6. Cornell, 62.2%
  7. Harvard, 61.1%
  8. Duke, 59.3%
  9. University of Virginia, 58.1%
  10. University of Michigan, 56.4%

Harvard Law School had a different honor. It sent the highest concentration of graduates—21 grads in all—to just one firm, Kirkland & Ellis. Latham & Watkins hired 20 grads each from Northwestern and Columbia.

A different chart by the magazine shows Yale had the highest percentage of 2005 graduates that went on to judicial clerkships.

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