Rankings Round-up: Which Law Schools Have the Best Employmen

by Vault Education Editors | March 01, 2010

  • My Vault

With all the law school rankings out there, I thought I'd round up all the employability rankings and see how they stack up. Law school recruiting isn't anywhere near as robust as it once was, and employment opportunities for graduates should be a big influence for prospective JDs. Luckily, there are rankings to help figure out which schools are still safe bets.

Last week, National Law Journal released its Go-To Law Schools based on the number of graduates who scored BigLaw jobs. In November, Super Lawyers ranked U.S. law schools based on the number of super lawyers (top U.S. lawyers) who graduated from each school. And in 2008, Vault published its Top 25 Law Schools based on which schools employers reported graduated the best prepared students. To create the new combined employability ranking, I averaged the three. While my methods were simple, the results were surprising.

Law School Employability Rankings Sizeup

The schools that had the most consistent rank among the three rankings scored highest in the employability size-up. No. 1's Harvard, Stanford and Northwestern are all top 10 (No. 4, No. 6 and No. 9, respectively), but averaged at least two points lower than University of Michigan Law School. There are a number of ties--Harvard and NYU tied for No. 4, Georgetown and Penn Law for No. 10 and BU and GWU for No. 17--which is not surprising given my methodology.

The top 10 Vault and National Law Journal schools dominate the averaged top 10. However, the NLJ Go-To Law Schools favored city schools (six of the top 10 are located in Chicago, Boston or NYC), this averaged list doesn't appear to have any strong geographic leanings. If employers think the students are strong enough, they are willing to travel--even to Ann Arbor in the dead of winter.

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