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Only 55 Percent of 2011 Law Grads Had Full-Time, Long-Term Legal Jobs, Analysis Shows

Posted Jun 19, 2012 6:33 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Only slightly more than half of 2011 law grads were able to snag full-time, long-term legal jobs, according to an analysis of new ABA data by Law School Transparency.

According to the group, 55.2 percent of grads had full-time, long-term legal jobs, while 26.2 percent were underemployed. Law School Transparency defines underemployed as unemployed and seeking work, pursuing an additional advanced degree, in a nonprofessional job, or employed in a short-term or part-time job.

The law schools with the highest percentages of grads in full-time, long-term law jobs were Columbia Law School, Harvard Law School, New York University School of Law, Stanford Law School and the University of Virginia School of Law, the National Law Journal reports. Those with the lowest rates were Golden Gate University School of Law, the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, and Whittier Law School.

The latest numbers come the same month that NALP-The Association for Legal Career Professionals released its own bleak report. Among law grads whose employment status was known, only 65.4 percent were in any kind of jobs requiring bar passage, the lowest percentage ever measured by the group. The overall employment rate nine months after graduation was 85.6 percent, the lowest it has been since 1994.

The National Law Journal interviewed Law School Transparency executive director Kyle McEntee about the latest ABA numbers. "Law school still costs way too much money compared to postgraduation employment outcomes,” he said. "If you plan to debt-finance your education or use your hard-earned savings, think twice about attending a law school without a steep discount."

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