Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ranking of law schools by percentage of Class of 2012 that got jobs with large law firms or federal clerkships

It's here, and somewhat misleadingly titled "elite" employment outcomes.  But since it uses a size cut-off, it means that graduates who go to Barlit Beck in Chicago, or Kellogg Huber in D.C. (high-end litigation boutiques that pay top dollar and only hire the best of the best) don't count as "elite" employment outcomes!  Such is life, and no measure is ever perfect, and the results are still useful and not wholly surprising:

1.  University of Pennsylvania (75.2%)

2.  Stanford University (74.0%)

3.  Harvard University (69.7%)

4.  Columbia University (66.5%)

5.  University of Chicago (66.0%)

6.  Yale University (64.7%)

7.  Cornell University (63.9%)

8.  Duke University (63.7%)

9.  University of California, Berkeley (60.3%)

10.  New York University (57.3%)

11. Northwestern University (55.4%)

12. University of Virginia (52.7%)

13. University of California, Irvine (51.8%)

14. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (51.4%)

After these fourteen, there is a big-drop off to the next cluster:

15. Georgetown University (39.3%)

16. Vanderbilt University (38.8%)

17. University of California, Los Angeles (38.0%)

18. University of Southern California (37.6%)

19. University of Texas, Austin (34.9%)

20. Fordham University (33.2%)

21. Boston University (31.9%)

22. University of Notre Dame (31.1%)

23. Boston College (27.7%)

24. Emory University (27.0%)

25. University of Georgia (26.2%)

26. Washington University, St. Louis (25.9%)

27. George Washington University (24.2%)

28. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (22.8%)

29. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (20.7%)

30. West Virginia University (20.4%)

31. Wake Forest University (19.2%)

32. University of Houston (19.1%)

33. Southern Methodist University (17.4%)

33. University of Alabama (17.4%)

35. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul (17.2%)

36. Howard University (16.6%)

37. College of William & Mary (15.7%)

38. Washington & Lee University (15.4%)

39. Tulane University (15.2%)

39. Villanova University (15.2%)

41. University of California, Hastings (15.1%)

42. University of Kentucky (15.0%)

Why does Penn come out ahead of Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, Chicago and Yale?  Penn clearly has excellent big firm placement, but I suspect they also have fewer JD/PhD students, fewer graduates going to elite litigation boutiques, and fewer going into government work--all jobs that don't count in this listing.  Geography is clearly important, too:  Fordham has long been the #3 law school in the country's biggest "big firm" legal market, and it shows up in their placement.  Schools with regional importance, like West Virginia and Georgia, do well in federal clerkships and placement with the large firms in their areas.  But this is useful information for students to keep in mind, since the 42 schools with 15% or more of their 2012 graduates at big firms or in federal clerkships does not correspond to the top 42 schools in terms of faculty quality, or U.S. News.

http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2013/12/ranking-of-law-schools-by-percentage-of-class-of-2012-that-got-jobs-with-large-law-firms-or-federal-.html

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