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In 2007, before all the economic "unpleasantness" began, Vault conducted a survey of BigLaw firms about which schools best prepare their students for practice. Our list of the most employable students offered a comprehensive view of which schools top firms recruit from.
However, a lot's happened since Vault's Top 25 Law School Ranking was published. The employment outlook for new JDs is drastically different in 2010. Law firms have had to change their recruiting strategies because of reduced budget cuts and limited spaces. They are not recruiting at as many schools or as deeply at each school as they were back in 2007. So what would our ranking look like today? Since we won't be conducting our survey until later this year, we can use The National Law Journal's list of Go-To Law Schools, which ranks schools based on "law schools with the highest percentages of graduates hired by NLJ 250 law firms." Here's how the Vault 2007 list and the NLJ 2010 list stack up:
According to NLJ, schools in New York, Boston and Chicago are your best bet for a BigLaw associate position in these rough economic times. It's clear that law firms are hiring more deeply at top law schools located near their headquarters--cutting down on travel and other HR costs. Students at Vault top law schools that didn't make the NLJ list still have strong employment opportunities, particularly at smaller firms and in the public sector. Moreover, as soon as the economy and law recruiting improves, top schools like University of Iowa School of Law and University of Minnesota Law School will be the first places firms go.
To read more Vault coverage of the National Law Journal Law School Report, check out Brian and Vera's Law Blog.
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