Employment data for 2017 graduating law class released

Employment data for the graduating law class of 2017 as reported by American Bar Association-approved law schools to the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is now publicly available. 

The aggregate national data on law graduate employment outcome for the class of 2017 and individual schools’ post-graduate employment figures can be found online. An online table also provides select national side-by-side comparisons between the classes of 2017 and 2016.

The aggregated school data shows that 75.3 percent of the 2017 graduates of the 204 law schools approved by the ABA to offer the J.D. degree were employed in full-time long-term Bar Passage Required or J.D. Advantage jobs roughly 10 months after graduation. That compares to 72.6 percent of the graduates reporting similar full-time long-term jobs last year. The higher percentage of students so employed, however, results from an approximately 6 percent decrease in the size of the graduating class. The actual number of full-time long-term Bar Passage Required or J.D. Advantage jobs decreased by 630, or -2.34 percent year over year, going from 26,923 in 2016 to 26,293 in 2017.

The ABA’s accrediting body, under Standard 509 of the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, requires schools to report to the ABA and publicly disclose varied information, including employment outcomes. Employment and other statistics are posted at, www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/statistics.html.

The council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and its accreditation committee are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting agency for programs leading to the J.D.

The section’s 14,000 members strive to improve legal education and lawyer licensing by fostering cooperation among legal educators, practitioners and judges through workshops, conferences and publications.
The section also studies and makes recommendations for the improvement of the bar admission process, and the section and its governing council operate for accreditation purposes as independent arms of the ABA.

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