GW Makes Top Ten Law Schools on Job Placement

150px-gwulogo-1Forbes has a story on the ranking of law school on employment placement and salaries. I am happy to report that George Washington has placed within top ten schools. The dip in the legal market has affected applications at top schools but overall the impact is felt more severely at the lower ranked law schools. While legal education remains expensive, it remains a good investment for many students. The problem occurs at law schools with low bar passage rates and employment placement. We previously discussed how some of the lowest ranked schools report the highest levels of debt for students. There are some law schools which have dubious academic programs and even more dubious claims of placement. Frankly, some paring of law schools would be a benefit in this economic downturn as would more demanding certification standards by the American Bar Association.

It is important to emphasize that I do not subscribe to the ranking of law school on placement figures or treating law school as merely a trade school needed to secure high-paying jobs. I have opposed the self-destructive efforts of some professors (and President Obama) to strip down law schools to a two-year program to crank out more lawyers with less education. Despite the dislike for lawyers reflected in jokes and commentary, they play a critical role in our society and our law students are building on a long and proud legacy. This is a graduate school that sits at the junction of philosophy, economics, history, and public service. A J.D. degree offers more than a meal ticket.

However, given the large investment of our students, it is good to see these figures. At Columbia Law School, the price of a three-year J.D. is now nearly $250,000.

Only 56.2% of 2012 grads had found full employment at the time of reporting to the ABA. That percentage again is a bit deceiving since it is much higher as you move down the rankings in laws school as a general matter. The unemployment rate for new lawyers ticked up to 10.6% from 9.2% in the prior year.

Here is the ranking:

1. Columbia Law School
Percent of grads employed 9 months out: 99%
Median starting salary: $160,000

2. University of Chicago Law School
Percent of grads employed 9 months out: 99%
Median starting salary: $160,000

3. University of Pennsylvania Law School
Percent of grads employed 9 months out: 98%
Median starting salary: $160,000

4. Harvard Law School
Percent of grads employed 9 months out: 96%
Median starting salary: $160,000

5. New York University School of Law
Percent of grads employed 9 months out: 97%
Median starting salary: $160,000

6. University of California at Berkeley School of Law
Percent of grads employed 9 months out: 96%
Median starting salary: $160,000

7. Northwestern University School of Law
Percent of grads employed 9 months out: 91%
Median starting salary: $160,000

8. Georgetown University Law Center
Percent of grads employed 9 months out: 92%
Median starting salary: $160,000

9. The George Washington University Law School
Percent of grads employed 9 months out: 95%
Median starting salary: $137,000

10. University of Southern California Gould School of Law
Percent of grads employed 9 months out: 86%
Median starting salary: $145,000

55 thoughts on “GW Makes Top Ten Law Schools on Job Placement”

  1. Nick, this thread provides interesting examples of your confused thinking which limits your value as you lecture and admonish others to do their “homework”, take notes, and practice critical thinking.

    At 12:02 you opine that illegals should not be allowed to practice law because of a glutted market for attorneys in CA and mock the governor. You also note there are “other reasons” but none are listed.

    What then follows seems to be an effort to reassure us that the good and kind Nick still prevails…

    At 12:59 you list a host of reasons why illegals are to be respected and their hard work valued. (It is interesting that such work is described as menial.)
    At 101 you opine the same lesson.
    At 1:08 you add that they should be given opportunities here.
    At some point there is something about slavery.

    Forgive me, but I am left with the impression (after having read carefully and taken the required notes) that “menial” is somehow critical here and if they somehow manage to succeed and ascend into the more comfortable middle class – well all compassion and respect from Nick is withdrawn. Sorta brings to mind something like “uppitity”. Are they only allowed to go so far?

    I did find your comment on juries interesting, Now if you could just clear up this “menial” business…

  2. pdm, Before you come here and snipe, do your homework. I have commented MANY times on cannabis, War on Drugs, and illegal aliens. Do your homework, get up to speed, and contribute instead of just appearing occasionally and taking pot shots. What do you stand for on ANYTHING? You only express your derision for me. I get it. Everybody gets it. Step up your game.

  3. Some folks don’t need anything to alter their thinking…. They get that way naturally….

  4. pdm,

    Bad logic is where you find it, much like a lack of self-awareness, but one does not presuppose the other even though they can form strange loops (to use Hofstadter’s term).

  5. Gene, need your help here. Commenter says Gov. Brown’s thinking may be difficult to follow (illogical) due to use of medical mj. Almost immediately, commenter then says he is a medical mj user. Would it be too great a leap to suppose commenter has noticed his thinking is sometimes difficult to follow (illogical)?

    I, of course, reserve judgement – except I suspect a pathological hatred of Valerie Jarrett. I’d say maybe it was a racial or Democratic thing, but I suspect said commenter would protest that he loves all women, particularly those in Missouri who he once ran into at a polling place while helping a wheelchair bound senior vote a straight Democratic ballot.

  6. “Little boxes on a hilltop, little boxes made of ticky tack, little boxes on a hilltop and they all look just the same.”

  7. I’m having a hard time with coming up with a good reason why someone/anyone who attends law school, obtains a degree, and passes the bar should not be allowed to practice. And please spare me the argument about taking jobs from Americans.

    I’m thinking such a prohibition comes close to the old rules in the 50s when you had to sign a loyalty oath, or we thinking that’s a good idea, too.

    Juliet, however did you get the idea that Nick loathes all things Democratic and liberal? Why he is the soul of loving kindness to all humankind. If you require proof of that, I’m pretty sure we can find someone here who will enumerate all his good works.

  8. GW, Thanks for your thoughtful response. I respect that you had a career prior to going to law school. Some of the best attorneys I ever worked w/[I’m a PI] were people who went to law school after starting other careers[cops and actor]. I hope you are able to have a successful legal career. Find a niche is the only advice I would have. The niche may not be what you envisioned, but opportunities come when one least expects it.

  9. Saw the typo as I clicked send decided not to worry about it, should have known that was a bad idea, this is still the Internet after all.

    Nick, I’m not sure how you think that my finding the program to be a scam makes me entitled. The entitled position would be that GW owes all students a job. In my mind nothing could be further from the truth, what GW does owe students is honesty. I’m not a typical law student, had a long career before I went to school so I was well aware of the risk I was taking in leaving a full time job. My issue is that law schools generally use this sort of tactic to inflate numbers and it’s dishonest. To Randyjet’s point yes its good that GW does help the students, it’s bad that they make it look like full time employment in doing so.

  10. randyjet, A glimpse into the entitlement attitude of too many college/law school grads.

    1. GW this is a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I think it is GOOD that GW law school does something to employ and help out its grads. They may not get a six figure salary,but it IS employment, and thus makes it easier to get other jobs. You can cast is as a scam if you wish, but I think that most people would take that as a benefit of going to GW Law.

  11. Back to the topic, as a student at GW Law I would love to say this makes me feel good, but Professor Turley and Forbes have left out a critical fact, that makes this number hallow, 20% of the school is employed by a school run program that pays less than 30k and lasts for one year and one day so that it qualifies as “long term”. Its a shameful tactic that the school uses to inflate its employment numbers and thus inflate its US News rank.

  12. Law schools cost too much. Lincoln was a great lawyer and he “read for the law” which means he did not go to some school and he was an apprentice.
    The states need to lower the cost of their state law schools. Some schools need to close down. The demand for new lawyers reflects an over supply. The expense is somewhat related to pampered law professors. A two year curriculum in class followed by a one year apprentice job would be superior. Except who would hire the apprentices and train them well? We would have to accredit the employers.

    In judging the bench, there is too much credit given to the graduates of Harvard and Yale. On the Supreme Court there is not one justice who has defended a criminal felony case in a jury trial. Two, tried jury cases as lawyers. The present Court is removed from the real world of jury trials. Guys like Scalia extol the virtues of the slave holders who Framed the original Constitution and wishes to enact into present law their intentions.
    All of the nine Justices are swept up in their own egos. Listen to an oral argument on C-SPAN and hear the egos in action. Breyer sounds like a mother in a boarding school. Scalia sounds like a used clothing seller in the Bronx. Five of them speak Turdy, Turd and a Turd which means that they hail from New York or Jersey and speak the lingo. They hail from Harvard and Yale and have never seen the inside of a jail. Don’t know nuthin bout birthin babies Miz Scarlett yet the rule part of our world. Send us a Hugo Black next time Obama. Or an Abe Lincoln who “read for the law”.

  13. When I “lived” in Mo., I should say! Although, I did also “love” there.

  14. Oky, I do agree w/ Guv Moonbeam’s veto of the part of the bill that said illegals could sit on juries. That was ripe for an Unconstitutional ruling w/ a savvy criminal defense attorney holding it in their back pocket on a capital murder case. When I loved in Mo. in the 70’s, women could opt out of jury duty just by virtue of being female! A sharp Public Defender I knew waited for a capital case conviction to appeal, and of course, won.

  15. What are you trying to say Nick, are you implying I’ve got man boobs?

    Ph U 🙂

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  16. ** nick spinelli 1, October 9, 2013 at 1:30 pm **


    What ever I am or I’m not people may wish to consider that in a short time this current corrupt system is likely to collapse & when it does it’ll be me or people a lot like me sitting as judge or on the juries that come afterwards.


  17. Your upping the pay would be an interesting experiment. I think you would find many Americans won’t do those hard jobs for any pay. Just my opinion, I could be wrong.

  18. Oky, Don’t fret, I love passion. We’re sympatico on much of this topic. Disagreement is good, and I am not a prima donna. You Okie from Muscokee, white trash, mofo!

  19. Oky,
    Illegal aliens come here to get jobs and the dirty little secret is many employers hire them and attract them in order to pay lower wages and little or no benefits. Employers who hire illegals are rarely prosecuted and continue to make money off the low wages they pay their illegal employees. Lets stop the employers and the rest will be easy. Actually, the flow has been reduced due to the economy and the increased border patrol actions. These illegals will work for less money. If we paid a living wage Americans would be doing many of these jobs.

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