ABA Employment Data Shows Drab Numbers for 2013 Law School Grads

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Since the 2013 Spring Graduation for American Bar Association approved law schools, data has been released which shows the employment status as of February 2014 for law graduates. The data was released by the American Bar Association section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

The data shows that 10.1% of law graduates from the 2013 graduating class have been employed in full-time, long-term positions which place priority to those who hold a Juris Doctor. This percentage is .6% higher than the 2012 graduating class. Law schools around the nation have reported that 57% of the 2013 graduation class was employed in full-time, long-term positions which required passing the bar. This is up .8% from the 2012 graduating law class.

In 2013, graduations were up to 46,776 law students graduating. This is up by 412 students as compared to the 2012 graduation class. When comparing the data provided, it clearly shows a marginal raise in more jobs available as well as a larger percentage of 2013 graduates locating full-time positions in which a Juris Doctor was required or of utmost importance to the employer.

To be defined as a full-time, long-term legal position, the job must require either passing the bar or be a judicial clerkship. It also must be expected to last a minimum of one year and must require at least 35 or more hours of work per week. 64 law schools nationwide have 50% or more graduates in these legal positions. 33 of the law schools had 40% or less and 13 schools had 33% of their students or less in these positions.

There were however, 103 law schools which managed to not just meet expectations of the national full-time, long-term legal employment rate of 57%, but they exceeded this rate as well. 51 law schools had 66% or more students employed in these positions. In addition, 21 schools had 75% or higher, and 5 of the law schools were able to show a rate of 90% or higher.

When comparing the national average full-time, long-term rate for employment for legal positions where funding has not been made by the law school, the wealthiest of the schools were able to get their graduates full-time and long-term positions with a rate of 55.3%. Eighteen schools were able to pay 5% or more of their graduating students to work in full-time, long-term positions where bar passage was mandatory. Half of these schools were in the top 20 with graduates in full-time, long-term jobs where there was no benefit of being school funded. When you factor the school funded jobs into the rate, it places the rate at 67% for the schools in the top 20. There were 50% more employment opportunities for the graduating class of 2013 than there were for the class of 2012.

Between the 2012 graduating class and the 2013 graduating class, the employment data for the top 20 schools did not vary by more than a total of 7% at the most. Across the board, the variance remained steadily the same between 2012 and the 2013 graduation class for employment where exclusion to funding was not a factor.

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