The 2015 Best Law Schools were released today, telling students how almost 200 schools fared in the annual rankings. Schools were assessed on several factors, including two that are of particular concern to students: how soon graduates are employed and whether they enter jobs where the J.D. degree or passing the bar exam were key factors in getting the job.
Among 2012 graduates of law schools approved by the American Bar Association, 10.6 percent were unemployed or seeking employment nine months after graduation – slightly more than the 9.2 percent of 2011 graduates, according to the ABA.
Some law school programs excel when it comes to graduates’ job placement success. The University of Virginia School of Law, ranked No. 8, had more than 97 percent of its 2012 graduates employed nine months after receiving their degree in long-term, full-time jobs that required bar passage or where it was an advantage for those with a J.D. degree. This was the highest percentage among all ranked schools.
A number of schools tied for first when evaluated on which graduates received the highest median starting salary in the private sector. Students from the class of 2012 at Duke University, New York University, Georgetown University and 18 other schools had a median starting salary of $160,000. In the public sector, Santa Clara University graduates had the highest median starting salary: $74,500.
The graphic below illustrates these data points and more. Prospective law students can get tips and advice on being a successful law applicant and paying for school in the Law Admissions Lowdown blog.