Every year, law schools report on their graduating class from the prior year (this includes both people that graduated in May as well as December).¬†While there are many reasons to go to law school, and many fields to check out, at the end of the day, most people to to law school to become lawyers. The American Bar Association publishes the results of their employment survey to law schools, and while they track many metrics, one metric that is incredibly important is “EmployedBarPassageRequiredFTLT,” which stands for Employed Bar Passage Required Full Time Long Term. These are the positions that people get as attorneys, and more importantly the ones that are long term (not paid internships or contract work).

This year 5 schools had above 90% of their graduating class go into these positions.

  • University of Chicago took the top spot with 201 of its 215 students launching into these positions
  • Duke University took second with 2017 of 224 graduates
  • Columbia University also placed a very impressive 356 students in these position
  • University of Michigan had a 91% placement within these positions as well
  • Cornell University rounded out the top 5 also just breaking the 90% range at 90.22% of its graduating class.

Schools that placed near the bottom however included several schools in the news recently including:

  • Whittier Law School at 29% of its graduating class finding Full Time Long Term Positions (38 of 128
  • Golden Gate University at 26% (30 of 112)
  • Charlotte School of Law at 23.5% (80 of 340)
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law at 21.9% (46 of 210)
  • University of La Verne 13.7% (7 of 51, so a much smaller graduating class)

With the exception of Charlotte, all schools with sub 30% placement rates are located in California. You can see the full results taken from the American Bar Association’s website below:


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If you are in the market looking for one of these positions. Check out some of our guides and resources on the subject.