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Check Your Law School’s Job Placement Record? Your Future Employment Could Depend On It

published March 01, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
Published By
( 5 votes, average: 3.2 out of 5)
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It is no secret that law school is an expensive proposition and that its curriculum and study methods are most unlike other college courses and makes huge demands on the student and calls for lots of sacrifices on the family and social front.

Check Your Law School’s Job Placement Record? Your Future Employment Could Depend On It

Sadly however, the current job scenario is that law graduates do not find employment very easily and it is a myth that they start their careers on six figure salaries. So much so that many graduates, with a law education background, are seeking jobs in non-legal sectors.

It does to check, whist selecting your law school, if the school has a good job placement record and whether it offers career services and if they do, of what quality and effectiveness. Law Schools are best placed to find a job for you, because potential employers find them a great source of quality workers. Hence, the school's placement record and career services should play a crucial role in helping you decide which law school to go to: It could be the difference between getting a job easily and struggling for one.

Job Placement Record:

One bench mark of an excellent law school is its success rate in placing its law graduates, determined in part by a school's reputation among employers and the efforts of its alumni to help later graduates secure employment. Probably the most important ingredient in the success equation, however, is the career services office itself. Good career service offices provide a wide range of employment opportunities and career choices, rather than allow students to make their own decisions. Additionally, good career service offices assist all students, not just those in the top 10 to 20 percent of the class who, by virtue of their grades, have more employment opportunities.

Another strong indicator as to ease of future employment is the number of recent graduates who serve or are serving as judicial clerks for judges or justices; the more students who obtain judicial clerkships, the better your chances are for employment if you graduate from that school.

Career Services Office:

The prime function of the career service office is to help the student with attaining his career objectives and tell him about the options available to him and apprises him of the job search strategies and resources and act as the mediator between the student and potential employers. The CSO also offers face-to-face counseling to the students and arranges for on-campus interview programs and off-campus job fairs as well as publishes career handbooks and coordinates career development workshops and also organizes networking program throughout the year, were students get to network with other lawyers and companies developing and building contacts that could stand them in good stead when it is time to find jobs.

Career services offices conventionally emphasize on providing students with resume-building suggestions, train them on how to approach job interviews and help them to find jobs that are not posted on job-search sites.

A majority of the law schools may have career service offices, but these are very unproductive and inadequate when it comes to helping students find jobs. They are there to delude students into believing that they will have career service assistance, once they finish law school.

Students should consider the career service office of their school of choice very carefully. If you assume that the dean of career service office is more important than your law professor, you may perhaps be right.

A good career and job placement office provides students with early exposure to career opportunities, what those potential employers expect of them and what their responsibilities will be. They help them network with experienced and knowledgeable professionals and help students recognize and identify their personal goals and objectives and quantify strategies on how to go about achieving them. It is the duty of the career service office to help the students build on their skills and competence to overcome competition in the cut-throat job market.

Many law schools believe that career development offices are a huge waste of money and they are doing an undeserved favor to students and providing them with a service that really they don't need to. The mindset behind this thought process, is that our duty is to provide them with a legal education and now it is up to them to go find themselves a job. See through this charade when examining a prospective law-schools career services and see it is there to entice students or is it really serving a purpose.

A great yardstick for measuring whether the Career development office is really worth it is to check out its staff. If it is manned by people who look disinterested or who are rather unconcerned about the questions you ask of them, then probably its output will be not up to expected standards. Most law colleges hire people who have no expertise or training in the hiring and career fields and are washed out lawyers, more often than not.

Law students are normally bad at networking, because they are awfully busy studying and don't have time to develop contacts. Hence the need for the career services even more. Most law students try their best to get a job, but still don't manage one - the prime reason being that there are more graduates than there are jobs that can absorb them. It is for the career service and job placement offices to care for their students who lack the entrepreneurial approach - good career services start developing this approach right from 1L.

Some important general considerations in evaluating a school's career services office are: Is the career services office operated full-time or part-time? An office operated full-time shows a true commitment to placing students. Is the office a recent development or has it been around for a while? Without a track record, the office will be difficult to evaluate. Does it offer workshops to help students sharpen their interviewing and job-search skills? Most do offer some sort of mock-interview and resume workshop. Does it invite recruiters to campus to conduct interviews? This is quite convenient for busy students.

Are students encouraged to initiate their own search for a job in addition to on-campus interviews? What types of legal opportunities do recruiters typically offer? How many recruiters come to campus? If the numbers are low, the job search is going to be primarily the students' responsibility. Are recruiters from large firms, small firms, public-interest groups, government agencies? How many interviews do they conduct? How many job offers are made?

Make sure that the interviews are not just for show but actually produce results. Are all students given an opportunity to interview with various recruiters or is that opportunity reserved only for those at the top of the class? If only the top students are helped, that leaves the others to fend for themselves. In what cities are most of the recent graduates working? This will provide students valuable insight as to geographic emphasis. What types of law are they practicing? For what size firms are they working-large, small? What percent are employed in a field unrelated to law?

Surveys have revealed that most law graduates are finding it difficult to get jobs and any help that they receive is most welcome. The career service record of a law school should play a decisive role in your choice of law school.

Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

More about Harrison

About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit

published March 01, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 5 votes, average: 3.2 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.