CLASS OF 2016 EMPLOYMENT REPORT (CORRECTED)

[I made a few unfortunately significant errors when I compiled the data and created the table for full-time, long-term, bar-passage-required outcomes by law school in my first post on this topic. I overlooked the fact that the ABA now separates school-funded jobs in its employment status breakdown, meaning I subtracted school-funded jobs needlessly. I also mis-sorted the employment data for the class of 2015. Rather than correct that post, I am reposting the data, along with the information from this morning’s “second cut” to keep it all in one place. I will keep the previous posts up but will replace their text with links redirecting readers to this site to preserve links to that information and comments.

I hate making these kinds of preventable mistakes, so I apologize to readers. However, I greatly appreciate those of you who reached out to me to notify me of the errors.]

***************

On Thursday, the ABA updated its Employment Summary Report Web site, which provides employment data for each law school class going back to 2010. Many if not all law schools have uploaded their individual reports, and some intrepid researchers have already dug into them, but I prefer to wait until the easy-to-use spreadsheet comes out. The ABA may revise these data over the next few months, but this first cut gives a good sense of the class of 2016’s employment outcomes. Also, completionists will note that while Indiana Tech graduated a small number of students last year, it did not report their employment outcomes. I exclude it.

36,618 people graduated from 200 ABA-accredited law schools outside of Puerto Rico roughly between September 1, 2015, and August 31, 2016. The employment information should be good as of about March 15, 2017.

Here’s the pie chart of the employment status distribution.

I’ll analyze these numbers in more depth in my second cut, but overall the percentages look slightly better than last year. However, even though there are fewer graduates (down 15 percent from two years ago) the proportion obtaining work hasn’t risen dramatically.

More tables appear below the fold to conserve blog space.

**********

Here’s the table of graduate unemployment:

STATUS (EXCL. P.R.) 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Unemployed – Not Seeking 1,245 1,014 939 795 553 494 466
Unemployed – Seeking 2,686 4,016 4,770 5,060 4,103 3,744 3,142
Status Unknown 1,458 1,453 1,073 979 841 766 580
Total Grads 43,526 43,735 45,757 46,112 43,195 39,423 36,618
Unemployed – Not Seeking 2.9% 2.3% 2.1% 1.7% 1.3% 1.3% 1.3%
Unemployed – Seeking 6.2% 9.2% 10.4% 11.0% 9.5% 9.5% 8.6%
Status Unknown 3.3% 3.3% 2.3% 2.1% 1.9% 1.9% 1.6%
Total Percent 12.4% 14.8% 14.8% 14.8% 12.7% 12.7% 11.4%

The good news is the 1 percent decline in unemployed graduates seeking work, but the rest of the figures are largely the same. Still, despite such a large drop in graduates it’s bizarre that more than 10 percent haven’t found work after graduating. The bar-failure issue is probably contributing.

Pertinently, 62.4 percent of graduates held full-time, long-term jobs requiring bar passage, up from 60.0 percent for the class of 2015 and 58.7 percent for the class of 2014. (None of these figures include school-funded jobs.) The absolute number of such jobs fell again, to 22,856 from 23,651 last year. That’s a 3.4 percent drop. I’m not surprised that demand for new full-time lawyers continues to fall with graduates. The same thing happened last year.

And now, what you crave: the year-over-year comparison table for each law school, sorted by their 2016 percentage of graduates in full-time bar-passage required jobs:

**********

PERCENT GRADUATES EMPLOYED FULL-TIME/LONG-TERM IN BAR-PASSAGE-REQUIRED JOBS (EXCL. LAW-SCHOOL-FUNDED JOBS)
RANK LAW SCHOOL ’15 ’16 CHANGE
1. Chicago 90.8% 93.5% 2.7%
2. Duke 88.9% 92.4% 3.5%
3. Columbia 87.2% 91.5% 4.3%
4. Michigan 85.0% 91.1% 6.1%
5. Cornell 89.6% 90.2% 0.6%
6. Stanford 85.1% 89.6% 4.5%
7. Pennsylvania 89.8% 89.1% -0.7%
8. Virginia 84.7% 88.8% 4.0%
9. New York University 87.4% 88.7% 1.2%
10. Harvard 85.9% 88.0% 2.1%
11. Vanderbilt 78.4% 86.3% 7.9%
12. California-Berkeley 85.3% 84.2% -1.0%
13. Penn State (Dickinson Law) 59.6% 82.4% 22.7%
14. Northwestern 81.3% 81.5% 0.3%
15. Seton Hall 79.4% 80.7% 1.4%
16. Boston College 77.3% 80.6% 3.3%
17. Washington University 76.3% 80.1% 3.8%
18. Texas 75.7% 79.8% 4.1%
19. Illinois 65.2% 78.9% 13.7%
20. Yale 81.2% 78.3% -2.9%
21. Georgia 72.3% 78.3% 6.0%
22. Baylor 81.5% 77.2% -4.3%
23. Washington and Lee 75.3% 76.8% 1.6%
24. Ohio State 75.0% 76.5% 1.5%
25. Lincoln Memorial 40.0% 76.5% 36.5%
26. Notre Dame 73.7% 76.2% 2.4%
27. Alabama 72.2% 75.9% 3.6%
28. California-Los Angeles 73.7% 75.6% 1.9%
29. Oklahoma 69.0% 75.5% 6.5%
30. Drexel 64.8% 75.5% 10.7%
31. Southern Methodist 76.6% 75.2% -1.4%
32. Wyoming 58.9% 74.6% 15.7%
33. Fordham 66.8% 74.5% 7.6%
34. Minnesota 67.6% 74.4% 6.8%
35. Georgetown 67.3% 74.4% 7.1%
36. Cardozo, Yeshiva 68.0% 74.3% 6.3%
37. Wake Forest 66.7% 73.4% 6.7%
38. Hofstra 66.8% 73.2% 6.5%
39. Rutgers 65.9% 72.8% 6.8%
40. Nevada 74.0% 72.4% -1.6%
41. St. John’s 69.8% 72.1% 2.4%
42. William and Mary 66.3% 72.0% 5.7%
43. Florida State 72.6% 72.0% -0.7%
44. Pace 63.3% 71.9% 8.7%
45. Montana 64.6% 71.8% 7.2%
46. Connecticut 59.2% 71.5% 12.3%
47. Florida 76.6% 71.2% -5.4%
48. Wisconsin 64.8% 71.2% 6.4%
49. California-Irvine 64.5% 71.2% 6.6%
50. Cincinnati 61.5% 71.2% 9.7%
51. Boston University 75.5% 71.0% -4.4%
52. Belmont 60.2% 71.0% 10.8%
53. Iowa 78.1% 71.0% -7.1%
54. Kentucky 80.3% 70.7% -9.6%
55. South Dakota 55.7% 70.7% 15.0%
56. Florida International 66.7% 70.6% 3.9%
57. Albany 65.0% 70.2% 5.2%
58. Emory 75.3% 70.1% -5.3%
59. Southern California 72.8% 70.0% -2.8%
60. Indiana (Bloomington) 64.6% 69.6% 5.0%
61. Villanova 62.0% 69.2% 7.2%
62. Arizona State 70.3% 68.9% -1.4%
63. Texas Tech 65.4% 68.7% 3.3%
64. Arizona 61.8% 68.5% 6.7%
65. South Carolina 64.5% 68.4% 3.9%
66. New Mexico 73.2% 68.1% -5.1%
67. Marquette 62.4% 68.1% 5.6%
68. Washburn 60.8% 68.0% 7.2%
69. Colorado 70.4% 67.9% -2.5%
70. Missouri (Columbia) 69.2% 67.5% -1.7%
71. Houston 58.6% 67.5% 8.9%
72. Washington 68.6% 67.3% -1.3%
73. George Washington 64.7% 67.2% 2.5%
74. Idaho 78.5% 67.2% -11.3%
75. Memphis 53.7% 67.0% 13.3%
76. Georgia State 64.3% 67.0% 2.7%
77. Temple 58.9% 66.8% 7.9%
78. North Carolina 65.9% 66.8% 0.9%
79. City University 59.5% 66.3% 6.9%
80. Penn State (Penn State Law) 53.1% 66.3% 13.3%
81. St. Louis 59.9% 66.2% 6.3%
82. Brooklyn 64.0% 66.1% 2.1%
83. Nebraska 69.6% 65.3% -4.3%
84. Missouri (Kansas City) 61.7% 65.2% 3.5%
85. Tennessee 65.6% 65.2% -0.4%
86. Kansas 63.7% 65.1% 1.4%
87. Regent 56.8% 64.8% 8.0%
88. Miami 61.6% 64.7% 3.1%
89. George Mason 61.8% 64.7% 2.8%
90. Brigham Young 56.4% 64.6% 8.2%
91. Arkansas (Fayetteville) 64.6% 64.5% -0.1%
92. Richmond 61.0% 64.2% 3.2%
93. Louisiana State 69.5% 63.6% -5.9%
94. New Hampshire 64.3% 63.5% -0.8%
95. Oklahoma City 56.7% 63.5% 6.8%
96. Maine 42.9% 63.4% 20.6%
97. Tulane 60.2% 63.3% 3.2%
98. SUNY Buffalo 62.3% 63.2% 0.9%
99. California-Davis 67.6% 63.0% -4.5%
100. Denver 60.6% 62.9% 2.3%
101. Duquesne 53.1% 62.9% 9.8%
102. West Virginia 72.8% 62.6% -10.2%
103. Touro 56.1% 62.6% 6.4%
104. Loyola (CA) 62.0% 62.1% 0.1%
105. Wayne State 60.0% 61.8% 1.8%
106. Pittsburgh 53.6% 61.7% 8.1%
107. Gonzaga 64.5% 61.6% -2.9%
108. Tulsa 62.8% 61.4% -1.3%
109. Louisville 65.6% 60.7% -5.0%
110. Mercer 64.3% 60.6% -3.7%
111. Concordia 41.7% 60.5% 18.9%
112. St. Mary’s 52.8% 60.5% 7.7%
113. Syracuse 55.0% 60.2% 5.2%
114. Utah 64.3% 59.5% -4.8%
115. Mississippi College 62.3% 59.3% -3.0%
116. Drake 68.4% 59.3% -9.1%
117. Maryland 57.6% 59.2% 1.6%
118. Northern Illinois 59.4% 59.1% -0.3%
119. Texas A&M [Wesleyan] 60.4% 59.0% -1.3%
120. Faulkner 53.7% 58.1% 4.4%
121. Mitchell|Hamline 48.8% 57.6% 8.8%
122. Creighton 63.6% 57.5% -6.2%
123. Southern Illinois 56.6% 57.3% 0.7%
124. Northeastern 64.1% 57.2% -6.8%
125. Ave Maria 35.2% 57.1% 21.9%
126. Mississippi 51.1% 57.0% 6.0%
127. Loyola (IL) 51.0% 56.9% 6.0%
128. Samford 54.5% 56.9% 2.4%
129. Case Western Reserve 59.7% 56.6% -3.2%
130. Stetson 62.3% 56.5% -5.9%
131. Michigan State 49.5% 56.2% 6.7%
132. Chicago-Kent, IIT 52.0% 56.2% 4.2%
133. St. Thomas (MN) 55.8% 55.7% -0.1%
134. Liberty 50.8% 55.2% 4.4%
135. Pepperdine 52.8% 54.1% 1.4%
136. DePaul 55.3% 53.8% -1.4%
137. New York Law School 49.1% 53.3% 4.1%
138. Charleston 48.9% 53.2% 4.3%
139. Hawaii 54.5% 53.2% -1.3%
140. Lewis and Clark 47.3% 53.1% 5.8%
141. Cleveland State 52.3% 53.0% 0.7%
142. South Texas 59.0% 52.9% -6.2%
143. American 44.2% 52.8% 8.6%
144. Texas Southern 35.4% 52.3% 16.9%
145. Seattle 48.7% 52.2% 3.5%
146. John Marshall (Chicago) 50.9% 51.7% 0.8%
147. California-Hastings 56.5% 51.3% -5.2%
148. North Dakota 58.2% 51.3% -6.9%
149. Baltimore 53.6% 51.3% -2.3%
150. Oregon 49.2% 51.2% 2.0%
151. Roger Williams 52.3% 51.2% -1.1%
152. Vermont 47.5% 50.9% 3.3%
153. Arkansas (Little Rock) 52.4% 50.4% -2.0%
154. Campbell 50.3% 49.5% -0.8%
155. Dayton 51.6% 49.4% -2.2%
156. Chapman 47.0% 49.4% 2.4%
157. Widener (Commonwealth) 51.3% 49.1% -2.2%
158. Nova Southeastern 60.5% 49.0% -11.5%
159. Indiana (Indianapolis) 58.8% 48.8% -10.0%
160. Ohio Northern 41.3% 48.6% 7.3%
161. Northern Kentucky 44.0% 48.3% 4.4%
162. St. Thomas (FL) 43.0% 48.0% 5.0%
163. Howard 49.1% 47.8% -1.3%
164. Santa Clara 39.3% 47.4% 8.2%
165. Widener (Delaware) 48.8% 47.4% -1.4%
166. San Diego 55.9% 46.8% -9.1%
167. Akron 51.4% 46.8% -4.6%
168. Loyola (LA) 47.0% 46.8% -0.2%
169. California Western 40.2% 46.6% 6.4%
170. Southern University 36.1% 45.5% 9.4%
171. Quinnipiac 50.4% 44.7% -5.7%
172. Suffolk 43.5% 43.2% -0.3%
173. Western New England 43.3% 42.7% -0.6%
174. Pacific, McGeorge 46.1% 40.3% -5.8%
175. Massachusetts — Dartmouth 34.5% 39.6% 5.1%
176. Southwestern 37.0% 38.9% 2.0%
177. Willamette 57.3% 38.6% -18.7%
178. New England 42.8% 38.6% -4.2%
179. Catholic 44.4% 38.4% -6.0%
180. Arizona Summit [Phoenix] 39.8% 38.0% -1.8%
181. Capital 38.5% 37.8% -0.7%
182. Florida A&M 38.1% 37.5% -0.6%
183. Toledo 45.7% 36.4% -9.4%
184. Florida Coastal 38.8% 36.1% -2.7%
185. Appalachian 48.3% 35.7% -12.6%
186. Valparaiso 42.0% 35.6% -6.4%
187. North Carolina Central 32.7% 35.0% 2.3%
188. Atlanta’s John Marshall 26.7% 35.0% 8.2%
189. District of Columbia 22.1% 34.0% 12.0%
190. Elon 48.1% 33.7% -14.3%
191. Barry 34.5% 33.6% -0.9%
192. Detroit Mercy 36.8% 33.6% -3.2%
193. San Francisco 36.1% 32.9% -3.3%
194. Western State 41.8% 31.9% -10.0%
195. WMU Cooley 27.5% 30.5% 3.0%
196. Puerto Rico 23.8% 30.4% 6.6%
197. Whittier 21.3% 29.7% 8.4%
198. Golden Gate 36.7% 26.8% -9.9%
199. Charlotte 26.3% 23.5% -2.8%
200. Thomas Jefferson 24.5% 21.9% -2.6%
201. La Verne 38.5% 13.7% -24.7%
202. Inter American 7.6% 9.9% 2.3%
203. Pontifical Catholic 16.6% 0.0% -16.6%
TOTAL (EXCL. P.R.) 60.0% 62.4% 2.4%
10TH PERCENTILE (EXCL. P.R.) 38.8% 37.8% -1.0%
25TH PERCENTILE (EXCL. P.R.) 49.2% 51.2% 2.0%
MEDIAN (EXCL. P.R.) 60.0% 62.9% 3.0%
75TH PERCENTILE (EXCL. P.R.) 67.6% 71.2% 3.6%
90TH PERCENTILE (EXCL. P.R.) 78.5% 80.1% 1.6%
MEAN (EXCL. P.R.) 58.8% 60.7% 1.9%

**********

This table comes with no notes or caveats, unlike previous years. At last we have a stable, merger- and splitting-free year for law school employment data. Closures on the way though.

Previous posts on this topic:

Be seeing you.

********************

[I am reposting my second cut on the class of 2016 graduate employment outcomes to keep the information consistent and correct any errors.]

Change in 2016 Graduate Outcomes Driven by the Underemployed

My second cut at the class of 2016 employment data:

Comparing the law-school classes of 2016 to 2015 (and excluding our three Puerto Rico law schools), there were 2,806 fewer graduates, a decline of 7.1 percent. Five employment status categories accounted for 88 percent of this change: bar-passage-required jobs (38.3%), unemployed grads seeking jobs (21.5%), law-school-funded jobs (9.8%), JD-advantage jobs (9.6%), and professional-position jobs (8.3%).

Changes among the employment types accounted for 69.9 percent of the 2,806 graduates. The four largest drivers were business-and-industry jobs (29.7%), 2-10-lawyer practices (17.2%), public-interest jobs (8.6%), and solo practices (5.1%). Notably, jobs at 501-plus-lawyer firms grew by 241, so it pushed back against the graduate decline (-8.4%).

Finally, I looked at the distribution of graduates among the employment statuses and types by their Gini coefficients. Some of these are more informative than others given the small number of grads that fall into them, e.g. the 22 grads whose employment is undeterminable. There’s nothing unexpected here. Aside from solos and unknowns, outcome inequality at law firms increases with firms’ sizes. Federal clerkships and positions at 501-plus-lawyer firms are still doled out like income in a landlocked, kleptocratic, military dictatorship. Public-interest jobs aren’t so easy to come by either, which casts some doubt on the argument that student-loan burdens deter graduates from taking them.

Editorial: The employment categories accounting for the change in graduates differed quite noticeably from last year. The bright piece of news is that much of the decline in law grads came out of the unemployed-seeking status, the law-school-funded status, and the business-and-industry employment type. Small-law jobs absorbed much of the shift, which is also good because these probably aren’t stellar jobs anyway. However, it suggests that many grads who found these jobs in past years probably did not thrive much or for long. In future years, the graduate decline will flatten because of stabilizing enrollments in prior years (2014+). When that becomes apparent, shifts in graduate outcomes will indicate changes in the legal economy rather than dwindling interest in law school.

Finally, credit to the ABA Journal for reporting the bad news when it could have reported the good news. Its story on the subject showcased the 4 percent drop in bar-passage-required jobs over last year without mentioning the 16 percent plunge in unemployed-seeking jobs, which is much more salient if you’re looking at within-category relative changes. I believe the distribution analysis I’m presenting is more balanced, but I don’t usually think of myself as putting more optimistic spins on law-school data than the Journal.

Here’s an analytic table I base these opinions on.

EMPLOYMENT STATUS NO. OF GRADS GRADS PCT. OF TOTAL PCT. CHANGE IN GRADS DISTRIBUTION OF CHANGE IN GRADS GINI COEFFICIENT
2015 2016 2015 2016 2016 2016 2015 2016
Employed – Bar Passage Required 24,893 23,819 63.1% 65.0% -4.3% 38.3% 0.33 0.34
Employed – JD Advantage 5,429 5,159 13.8% 14.1% -5.0% 9.6% 0.37 0.36
Employed – Professional Position 1,623 1,391 4.1% 3.8% -14.3% 8.3% 0.55 0.55
Employed – Non-Professional Position 535 435 1.4% 1.2% -18.7% 3.6% 0.54 0.54
Employed – Law School 1,036 760 2.6% 2.1% -26.6% 9.8% 0.79 0.80
Employed – Undeterminable 30 22 0.1% 0.1% -26.7% 0.3% 0.95 0.94
Employed – Pursuing Graduate Degree 651 599 1.7% 1.6% -8.0% 1.9% 0.49 0.49
Unemployed – Start Date Deferred 289 245 0.7% 0.7% -15.2% 1.6% 0.62 0.63
Unemployed – Not Seeking 509 466 1.3% 1.3% -8.4% 1.5% 0.59 0.57
Unemployed – Seeking 3,745 3,142 9.5% 8.6% -16.1% 21.5% 0.47 0.46
Employment Status Unknown 684 580 1.7% 1.6% -15.2% 3.7% 0.65 0.67
Total Graduates 39,424 36,618 100.0% 100.0% -7.1% 100.0% 0.29 0.28
EMPLOYMENT TYPE NO. OF GRADS GRADS PCT. OF TOTAL PCT. CHANGE IN GRADS DISTRIBUTION OF CHANGE IN GRADS GINI COEFFICIENT
2015 2016 2015 2016 2016 2016 2015 2016
Solo 659 516 1.7% 1.4% -21.7% 5.1% 0.55 0.60
2-10 6,740 6,257 17.1% 17.1% -7.2% 17.2% 0.33 0.34
11-25 1,754 1,739 4.4% 4.7% -0.9% 0.5% 0.40 0.41
26-50 954 942 2.4% 2.6% -1.3% 0.4% 0.45 0.43
51-100 814 797 2.1% 2.2% -2.1% 0.6% 0.46 0.48
101-250 959 958 2.4% 2.6% -0.1% 0.0% 0.52 0.51
251-500 1,062 1,008 2.7% 2.8% -5.1% 1.9% 0.67 0.68
501-PLUS 4,007 4,244 10.2% 11.6% 5.9% -8.4% 0.78 0.79
Unknown 242 228 0.6% 0.6% -5.8% 0.5% 0.82 0.91
Business Industry 5,749 4,915 14.6% 13.4% -14.5% 29.7% 0.37 0.35
Government 4,611 4,403 11.7% 12.0% -4.5% 7.4% 0.33 0.31
Public Interest 1,880 1,639 4.8% 4.5% -12.8% 8.6% 0.52 0.47
Federal Clerkship 1,222 1,196 3.1% 3.3% -2.1% 0.9% 0.70 0.72
State/Local Clerkship 2,018 2,095 5.1% 5.7% 3.8% -2.7% 0.59 0.57
Other Clerkship 114 20 0.3% 0.1% -82.5% 3.3% 0.86 0.93
Education 634 581 1.6% 1.6% -8.4% 1.9% 0.49 0.48
Unknown Employer Type 127 48 0.3% 0.1% -62.2% 2.8% 0.93 0.93
Total Employed by Type 33,546 31,586 85.1% 86.3% -5.8% 69.9% 0.30 0.30

Similar editions of this post from prior years can be found here:

Advertisements

3 comments

  1. Those outcomes CLEARLY DO NOT JUSTIFY the outrageous costs in tuition, to attend these schools. This is the moral equivalent of charging someone $30K for a 1987 Toyota Tercel that barely runs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s