KU Law ranks 8th nationwide for ‘best jobs’ employment

Students meet prospective employers during the Legal Career Options Day job fair in November 2021.

LAWRENCE – Nearly 95% of graduates in the Class of 2021 at the University of Kansas School of Law found full-time, long-term legal employment, according to data recently released by the American Bar Association.

KU Law ranks eighth among ABA-accredited law schools nationwide in the category sometimes referred to as “best jobs” – defined as full-time, long-term positions that require passing a bar exam or where a law degree offers an advantage. Employment data for KU and all ABA-accredited law schools is available on the ABA website.

Overall employment for the 2021 class was 96.9%. Compared with all ABA law schools, KU Law ranks 21st nationally for overall employment. This is the eighth consecutive year that KU Law employment has exceeded 90%, including graduates who enrolled in full-time graduate school after completing their Juris Doctor.

“We are encouraged that even in a year when the health crisis continued to take a toll on our economy, our students still achieved excellent employment outcomes,” said Heather Spielmaker, assistant dean for career services at KU Law. “High-caliber instruction and professional development guidance helped produce graduates who were competent and confident, and that clearly resonated with our employers.”

Graduates accepted positions with law firms, businesses, government agencies, public interest organizations and judges across the country. An analysis by the nonprofit Law School Transparency placed KU Law fourth nationwide for graduates in full-time, long-term government or public interest jobs. Just over 30% of graduates in the KU Law Class of 2021 accepted jobs in that category. Law School Transparency ranks KU Law 19th for graduates in full-time, long-term jobs that require a law license and are not solo practices.

Thirteen graduates secured full-time, long-term judicial clerkships, including two clerking with federal courts. KU Law is among the top quarter of law schools nationally for percentage of graduates in clerkships. Two additional graduates completed short-term clerkships before moving on to positions with law firms.

PreLaw Magazine recognized KU Law as one of the top schools in the country for trial advocacy in its winter 2022 issue. The rankings are based on law schools’ curricular offerings in trial advocacy. At KU Law, those offerings include a certificate in advocacy skills; skills simulation courses through the Shook, Hardy & Bacon Center for Excellence in Advocacy; and several clinical and externship programs that help students build practical experience.

The magazine also highlighted innovative, hands-on mediation training offered to first-year students in the law school’s Lawyering Skills program.

KU Law was listed as one of the “Best Schools for Practical Training” in the spring 2022 issue of PreLaw Magazine. That ranking focuses on hands-on offerings including clinics, field placements, simulation courses, pro bono service hours and moot court participation.

“KU Law’s curriculum is designed to give students the type of practical training that will prepare them for a successful legal career, starting during the first year of law school,” said Stephen Mazza, dean and professor of law. “From the first-year Lawyering Skills course to upper-level workshops in negotiating business deals or taking depositions, KU Law’s courses and faculty help ensure graduates can pursue jobs that match their interests.”

Visit the KU Law website for an infographic with additional Class of 2021 employment data.

Photo: Students and employers meet at KU Law’s Legal Career Options Day job fair in November 2021. Credit: Meg Kumin, KU Marketing.