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ABA Releases Class of 2012 Law Graduate Employment Data

CHICAGO, March 29, 2013 — The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar today released data on law graduate employment outcomes for the class of 2012.  The data covers the employment status of the 2012 graduates of ABA-approved law schools nine months after their graduation (Feb. 15, 2013).

Law schools reported that 56.2 percent of graduates of the class of 2012 were employed in long-term, full-time positions where bar passage was required, compared with 54.9 percent for the class of 2011 — a 1.3 percentage point increase.  In addition, 9.5 percent of graduates of the class of 2012 were employed in long-term, full-time JD Advantage positions, compared with 8.1 percent for the class of 2011 — a 1.4 percentage point increase. Schools reported outcomes for 97 percent of their 2012 graduates.

Other employment outcomes data reported by schools to the Section indicate that:

  • The percentage of positions funded by law schools decreased from 4.5 percent of total graduates to 3.9 percent.
  • The percentage of graduates reported as unemployed/seeking employment rose 1.4 percentage points of total graduates to 10.6 percent from 9.2 percent.

The class entering law school in 2010 was the largest on record. Since then, applicants and applications have decreased sharply.

  • As a result of the larger class size, the number of all graduates in the class of 2012 rose 5.4 percent to 46,364 from 43,979.
  • The absolute number of class of 2012 graduates employed in long-term, full-time positions where bar passage was required rose 7.6 percent to 26,066 from 24,149.

A chart here has definitions and summarizes the data with comparisons to the previous year. The complete data set and school-by-school employment summaries are available here.  These data are as reported to the ABA by law schools on March 15, 2013.

The Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is the federally recognized accrediting agency for U.S. law schools.

With nearly 400,000 members, the _ is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.