Columbia Tops Law Grads Hiring Report for Class of 2019

Among the J.D. class of 2019, four out of five graduates landed jobs that either require bar passage or for which a law degree offers an advantage within 10 months of leaving campus.

That’s the strongest entry-level employment record in more than a decade, according to new data from the American Bar Association. But not every law school had such robust employment outcomes last year. has dug through a wealth of jobs data released by the ABA this month to spotlight how law schools performed in 10 different areas.

We have ranked schools according to their percentage of 2019 graduates in full-time, long-term jobs that require a J.D., which are often seen as the gold standard for new law graduates. Columbia Law School once again tops that list, sending nearly 97% of last year’s graduates into those jobs. (Duke Law School; the University of Virginia School of Law; the University of Chicago Law School; and the University of Michigan Law School round out the top five.)

Federal clerkships are another prestigious and highly sought-after opportunity for new law graduates. In 2019, Stanford Law School unseated Yale Law School as the campus with the most recent graduates clerking for federal judges. Among those Stanford graduates, 29% landed federal clerkships. For Yale, that figure was nearly 26%.

Our other charts break down which schools sent the most graduates into large firm jobs, government and public-interest positions, and state and local clerkships. We’ve also calculated which schools sent the most graduates into large law firms or federal clerkships, a category we have dubbed “elite jobs.”

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows out there on the entry-level legal job market. A number of law schools continue to struggle to help graduates secure legal jobs. We’ve ranked law schools according to the percentage of 2019 graduates who were unemployed and looking for work 10 months after leaving campus—where 16 law schools had 15% or more of the class out of work and seeking jobs. Similarly, 35 law schools had 20% or more of their 2019 class underemployed, meaning they were either unemployed and seeking work, were in temporary or part-time work, or had nonprofessional jobs.

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