If you were to check only one statistic before attending a law school, this is the one you should look at: long term/full-time employment in jobs requiring bar passage for 2018 law school graduates.

These numbers give you a quick look at what percentage of students are obtaining the kind of jobs that law graduates seek. Some things to bear in mind:

  • This statistic tells you nothing about the underlying quality of the jobs. On top of having stellar employment numbers, the top schools are placing the overwhelming share of their students into highly desirable jobs at the largest law firms. Though University of Tulsa, for example, ranks high on the list, you can be assured that graduates of this school are finding very different work than the grads at high-ranking Northwestern one up the list.
  • Factored into the calculation are school-funded positions. Although desirable, these jobs typically do not provide indefinite employment. For a considerable number of schools, school-funded positions represent up to around 10% of hiring. A detailed accounting can be found here: 2015-2018 Law School Funded Positions Granular Data

Now, on to the data. Duke, Columbia, Cornell, University of Chicago, and University of Virginia take the top five spots. Twelve schools managed full-time hiring over 85% percent.

Although Yale and Stanford, top three schools, are the lowest for the Top 14 schools, bear in mind that grads of these schools often choose non-traditional career paths including non-legal work. Legal hiring is robust at all of the top 14 schools.

The bigger point to pull from this list is that legal hiring remains a tale of two cities. You have very strong hiring at the top, but then the vast majority of the list is placing fewer than 75% of grads into full-time work that requires bar passage. A significant proportion of schools come in under 60%. Given that nearly all law students at the middle and lower-ranked schools are seeking such employment, the number failing to find such work should serve as healthy dose of realism to anyone considering law school.

Law School% of Grads in Full Time Long Term Law Jobs
Duke University93.78%
Columbia University92.82%
Cornell University92.08%
University of Chicago92.06%
University of Virginia91.55%
University of Pennsylvania90.63%
University of Michigan—Ann Arbor90.39%
New York University88.64%
University of California—Berkeley88.20%
Harvard University86.72%
Vanderbilt University86.17%
Washington University at St. Louis85.83%
University of Southern California (Gould)85.65%
University of Georgia83.98%
University of Alabama83.21%
Stanford University82.74%
Seton Hall University82.63%
Baylor University82.31%
Northwestern University82.26%
University of Tulsa81.40%
LSU — Baton Rouge (Hebert)81.32%
University of Oklahoma80.77%
University of Notre Dame80.68%
University of Minnesota—Twin Cities80.49%
Yeshiva University (Cardozo)80.14%
Washington and Lee University79.80%
University of Kentucky79.65%
Boston College79.41%
Temple University (Beasley)79.26%
University of Texas—Austin79.20%
University of California—Los Angeles79.05%
University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign78.17%
University of Iowa77.37%
University of New Mexico77.36%
University of New Hampshire77.05%
Georgetown University76.83%
Lincoln Memorial University76.47%
Ohio State University (Moritz)76.36%
University of Colorado—Boulder76.19%
University of Utah (Quinney)76.07%
William and Mary75.96%
Hofstra University (Deane)75.95%
University of Florida (Levin)75.93%
Southern Methodist University (Dedman)75.85%
University of Cincinnati75.71%
Belmont University College of Law75.64%
Boston University75.58%
University of Missouri75.49%
Villanova University75.47%
University of Miami75.38%
University of Nevada—Las Vegas75.19%
Wake Forest University75.14%
University of California — Irvine75.00%
Yale University75.00%
Pace University74.71%
West Virginia University74.53%
University of Montana74.39%
Arizona State University (O’Connor)74.24%
University of Wisconsin—Madison74.21%
University of Missouri—Kansas City74.07%
University of Nebraska—Lincoln74.04%
University of Tennessee—Knoxville73.00%
St. Louis University72.73%
Florida International University72.26%
St. John’s University71.96%
Pennsylvania State University71.93%
Emory University71.86%
Brooklyn Law School71.74%
University of California—Davis71.26%
University of Louisville (Brandeis)71.23%
Marquette University71.20%
Ohio Northern University (Pettit)71.15%
Drexel University70.97%
Albany Law School70.91%
University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill70.77%
Florida State University70.42%
University of Denver (Sturm)70.24%
Fordham University70.20%
George Washington University69.75%
Northeastern University69.72%
University of Memphis (Humphreys)69.70%
Mercer University (George)69.60%
Georgia State University69.57%
Texas Tech University69.54%
Syracuse University69.13%
University of Washington68.93%
University of Kansas68.60%
Creighton University68.32%
Loyola Marymount University68.23%
University of South Carolina68.12%
University of Arkansas—Fayetteville68.10%
Touro College–Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center67.97%
University of Richmond (Williams)67.79%
Indiana University—Bloomington (Maurer)67.23%
Penn State Dickinson67.21%
University of Wyoming67.14%
Willamette University (Collins)67.00%
University of Houston66.23%
Washburn University65.98%
Oklahoma City University65.65%
University of Connecticut65.36%
University of Arizona (Rogers)64.84%
Texas A&M University64.48%
University of North Dakota64.06%
Tulane University64.00%
Liberty University School of Law63.79%
Stetson University63.50%
Duquesne University63.49%
University of Arkansas—Little Rock (Bowen)63.33%
Howard University63.11%
University of Pittsburgh63.04%
Campbell University62.86%
Gonzaga University62.62%
Concordia University School of Law62.50%
Samford University (Cumberland)62.32%
University of Mississippi62.18%
Loyola University Chicago62.16%
Drake University62.11%
Quinnipiac University61.90%
University of Oregon61.54%
SUNY Buffalo Law School61.18%
George Mason University60.53%
University of Idaho60.42%
University of Baltimore60.27%
St. Mary’s University60.20%
Case Western Reserve University60.14%
Brigham Young University (Clark)60.00%
Northern Illinois University60.00%
Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago-Kent)59.64%
Pepperdine University59.64%
Texas Southern University–Thurgood Marshall59.38%
University of San Diego59.31%
Michigan State University59.31%
University of Akron59.17%
Widener University59.02%
Regent University School of Law58.97%
University of California (Hastings)58.93%
University of Hawaii—Manoa (Richardson)58.33%
University of South Dakota58.21%
Seattle University57.89%
University of Maryland (Carey)57.14%
Nova Southeastern University–Shepard Broad College of Law57.08%
Loyola University New Orleans57.04%
Wayne State University57.02%
Santa Clara University56.62%
John Marshall Law School56.49%
Lewis & Clark College (Northwestern)56.28%
Vermont Law School55.65%
University of Maine55.42%
University of Toledo55.26%
Indiana University—Indianapolis (McKinney)55.22%
Southern Illinois University Carbondale55.17%
University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth55.10%
Catholic University of America54.95%
DePaul University54.78%
Chapman University (Fowler)54.73%
St. Thomas (Florida)54.70%
Widener University Delaware54.13%
Roger Williams University School of Law54.10%
Capital University Law School53.85%
California Western School of Law53.81%
University of St. Thomas53.28%
South Texas College of Law53.02%
American University (Washington)52.96%
Appalachian School of Law52.38%
Mitchell Hamline52.30%
Cleveland State University52.14%
Mississippi College School of Law51.64%
Northern Kentucky University51.61%
UNT Dallas51.52%
New York Law School51.04%
University of Dayton50.00%
Faulkner University49.35%
University of San Francisco49.02%
University of the Pacific (McGeorge)47.33%
Suffolk University46.69%
Barry University46.30%
Southern University Law Center45.63%
Charleston School of Law44.55%
Western State College of Law at Argosy43.84%
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law43.71%
Florida A&M University College of Law43.61%
Southwestern Law School43.51%
Western New England University42.57%
Florida Coastal School of Law40.76%
Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School40.00%
Ave Maria School of Law39.51%
Valparaiso University Law School38.40%
New England Law— Boston38.21%
Golden Gate University School of Law37.93%
Arizona Summit34.44%
Elon University School of Law34.07%
University of La Verne College of Law31.58%
Western Michigan University (Cooley)30.68%
North Carolina Central University School of Law30.06%
Whittier Law School29.53%
University of the District of Columbia26.76%
Thomas Jefferson School of Law23.56%
University of Puerto Rico20.48%
Inter American University School of Law8.77%
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, School of Law0.73%

If you are thinking about law school, these numbers should just be a starting point in your research. Have questions? Let us know in the comments.

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