Class of 2022 employment and salary outcomes shatter records

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Association for Law Placement, Inc. (NALP) recently released its Employment for the Class of 2022 — Selected Findings, a summary of key findings from the upcoming annual Jobs & JDs: Employment and Salaries of New Law School Graduates. 

This year's Selected Findings, available at, show the Class of 2022 entered an even more robust employment market for new law graduates as compared to the Class of 2021.


The employment rate for the Class of 2022 improved by two-tenths of a percentage point, to 92.1% of graduates for whom employment status was known, compared to 91.9% for the Class of 2021. This is the best employment rate recorded since the Class of 1987, when the rate was just slightly higher, at 92.2%.

The percentage of graduates taking jobs for which bar passage is required or anticipated grew by 1.7 percentage points, increasing to 79.9% for the Class of 2022 — a new all-time high for the period since 2001 when NALP began using the current job classifications.

Overall, 58.0% of employed graduates obtained a job in private practice, an increase of one percentage point over the Class of 2021, and the highest this figure has been in 20 years.

The national median salary for the Class of 2022 grew to a record high of $85,000, up 6.3% compared to the median of $80,000 for the Class of 2021.

For graduates working in private practice, the national median law firm salary soared to $150,000, a 14.1% increase as compared to the median of $131,500 for the Class of 2021. By firm size, median salaries ranged from $70,000 for firms of 1-10 lawyers to $215,000 for firms of more than 500 lawyers.

The share of law firm jobs in the largest firms of more than 500 lawyers rose by one percentage point to 32.8%, another all-time high. In contrast, the percentage of jobs in firms of 1-10 lawyers accounted for 28.5% of all law firm jobs, the lowest this figure has been since 1989.

The percentage of graduates opening their own solo practice was at a record low of 0.9% of all law firm jobs and 0.5% of all jobs.

Public service jobs, including military and other government jobs, judicial clerkships, and public interest positions, accounted for 30.7% of jobs taken by employed graduates, up slightly from 30.5% for the Class of 2021. While the share of judicial clerkship positions declined this year, jobs in government and public interest were both up, with public interest employment at record highs in terms of both percentages (9.2% of all jobs) and overall job figures.

Just 7.8% of employed Class of 2022 graduates were seeking a different job than the one they are currently employed in, a record low.

Law school-funded jobs declined further for the Class of 2022, accounting for 347 jobs (1.1% of all jobs), compared with 427 jobs (1.3% of jobs) for the Class of 2021.

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