The Wall Street Journal article from earlier this week has an awesome interactive chart showing how well graduates fare from all law schools.
No surprise to me, graduates from Top-14 law schools, especially top-six law schools, do vastly better in the job market than graduates from lesser law schools. The top nine schools on the chart for graduates “Employed in jobs requiring a law degree” are all Top-14 schools. At many lesser schools, less than half the class finds jobs which require a law degree. At the “University” of Puerto Rico, not a single graduate is known to have found a job in law.
There are a few weird exceptions, such as the very high employment rate from Louisiana State University, which makes me wonder if some schools are submitting false data. As far as I can tell, the ABA simply created a much stricter methodology for law school job placement reporting, and this is a great step in the right direction, but there’s no auditing of the data so we don’t know if schools are fraudulently submitting bogus data.
The statistics also don’t distinguish between a graduate working at BIGLAW and making $160K/year (which may be increasing to $180K for some lucky first-year associates), and a graduate working for some small divorce lawyer for $10/hour or less, which happens quite frequently. There’s very little middle-ground in entry-level law salaries; it’s either a high BIGLAW salary, or too low to justify the cost of attending (tuition plus the loss of three years not doing something else).