Sunday, March 5, 2017
Location, Location, Location Revisited -- Most Law Schools Have a Regional Employment Footprint
One of the first blog posts I had on The Legal Whiteboard focused on the location of employment for graduates in the Classes of 2010 and 2011.
I have now updated this data by looking at the regional employment outcomes for the two most recent classes for which results are available, the Classes of 2014 and 2015. These calculations are drawn from the Employment Summary reports for each law school, which indicate the top three states in which graduates were employed in descending order.
For both the Class of 2014 and the Class of 2015 – 152 law schools saw 67% or more of their employed graduates take jobs in the state in which the law school was located or an adjacent state or states. Of these 152, more than 75% (roughly 60% of all law schools) saw 67% or more of their employed graduates take jobs in the state in which the school was located.
The numbers for the Classes of 2014 and 2015 (76% in region and 60% in state) are remarkably consistent with the numbers for the Classes of 2010 and 2011 (76% in region and 60% in state). This means there has been relative stability in the geographic markets in which graduates are employed for the vast majority of law schools over the last five to six years.
The vast majority of law schools are, in fact, regional law schools in terms of employment outcomes.
For the Class of 2014, 132 law schools saw an even higher percentage -- 75% or more of their employed graduates -- employed in the state in which the law school was located or adjacent states, with 85 of those having 75% or more just in the home state of the law school. For the Class of 2015, that increased to 134 law schools and 96 law schools, respectively.
In 2014, 47 law schools, and in 2015, 48 law schools, saw 90% or more of their employed graduates employed in the state in which the law school was located or adjacent states.
By contrast, for both the Class of 2014 and the Class of 2015, only 17 law schools had fewer than 50% of their employed graduates located in the state in which the law school is located or adjacent states, and 13 of these 17 law schools were ranked among the top 25 law schools in US News and World Report.
For those considering law school, geography should be an important consideration, given that the vast majority of law school graduates who find employment tend to take jobs in the state in which the law school is located or in an adjacent state.
Posted by Jerry Organ (I am grateful to Scott Norberg for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this post.)