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Law school ranks among top quarter in nation for employment success

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas School of Law Class of 2015 ranked in the top 25 percent of all law schools nationally in the critical areas of overall and “best jobs” employment outcomes, according to data released by the American Bar Association last week. Overall employment exceeded 91 percent, confirming a return to pre-recession success, while best jobs rose for a fifth consecutive year, topping 81 percent.

For overall employment, KU Law ranks 47th nationally, or among the top 23.3 percent of all law schools reported by the ABA. When law school-funded jobs are removed from the calculation, KU Law leaps to 32nd in the country, placing it in the top 15.9 percent of these schools. 

In the best jobs category, which many define as full-time, long-term positions that require bar passage or where a law degree provides an advantage, KU Law ranked 46th nationally, or in the top 22.8 percent of all schools. This result was the same regardless of whether law school-funded jobs were included in the calculation. 

“This result is extraordinary, and credit rests with the graduates themselves,” said Arturo Thompson, assistant dean of career services for the law school. “Our graduates are committed, focused and highly sought after in law, public service and industry. They lift our benchmark for success each year.” 

Employment highlights for the Class of 2015:

  • Nine students secured federal and state judicial clerkships, a number that will rise again for the Class of 2016 and will include two positions on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
  • Another 2015 graduate accepted a fellowship with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, which will be followed by a judicial clerkship on one of Colorado’s federal courts.
  • Two 2015 graduates joined the Judge Advocate General’s Corps with the U.S. Marines, combining a commitment to protecting our national security with the practice of law and continuing a long history of KU Law graduates serving in all four branches. 

Graduates continue to accept positions ranging from new associates with some of the largest law firms in the world to practices in rural communities across the state. 

National Jurist Magazine again ranked KU Law the 18th “best value” law school in the country, based on high bar passage rates, strong employment numbers and affordability. The law school also ranks 30th in the nation for lowest debt at graduation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

“Members of the Class of 2015 are part of a long and proud tradition of Jayhawk lawyers serving the people of Kansas and the nation, defending our rights, creating opportunity and helping ensure a brighter tomorrow for all of us,” said Stephen Mazza, dean of the law school. “We are proud of their success.”

Employment data for KU and all ABA-approved law schools can be viewed on the ABA website and analyzed at Law Jobs: By the Numbers. Find an infographic with complete Class of 2015 employment data on the KU Law website.