ABA law grad employment data shows rise in entry-level jobs for class of 2014

Law schools reported a slight rise in the percentage of 2014 graduates obtaining entry-level jobs compared with 2013 and a slight decline in the total number of jobs, according to figures announced this week by the American Bar Association’s accrediting body. The two numbers are explained, in part, by the decrease in law school graduates from 2013 to 2014.

The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar released aggregate national data on law graduate employment outcomes for the class of 2014 and posted individual schools’ post-graduate employment figures online at http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/. An online table also provides select national side-by-side comparisons between the classes of 2014 and 2013.

The nation’s 204 ABA-approved law schools reported that roughly 10 months after graduation, 31,160 graduates of the class of 2014, or 71 percent, were employed in long-term, full-time positions where bar passage is required or a J.D. is preferred. The 2014 figures break down as follows:

• 26,248 graduates of the class of 2014, or 59.9 percent, were employed in long-term, full-time positions that require bar passage.

• 4,912 graduates of the class of 2014, or 11.2 percent, were employed in long-term, full-time “J.D. advantage” positions where a law degree is preferred.

• 9.8 percent of the class of 2014 were unemployed and seeking employment

In the class of 2013, 31,368 graduates, or 67 percent, were employed roughly nine months after graduation in long-term, full-time positions where bar passage is required or a J.D. is preferred. The 2013 figures break down as follows:

• 26,653 graduates of the class of 2013, or 57 percent, were employed in long-term, full-time positions that require bar passage.

• 4,715 graduates of the class of 2013, or 10.1 percent, were employed in long-term, full-time positions where a law degree is preferred.

• 11.2 percent of the class of 2013 were unemployed and seeking employment.

The class of 2014 had 43,832 graduates, down 6.5 percent from 2013's largest-ever class of 46,776 graduates.

Data for the class of 2014 reflect the employment status of graduates as of March 15, 2015, roughly 10 months after graduation. Previously the data covered the employment status of graduates about nine months after graduation.

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