Law School Graduates Land More Jobs in Nation’s Largest Law Firms in 2012, According to The National Law Journal

NEW YORK – February 25, 2013 – With the publication today of its annual “Go-To Law Schools” report, ALM’s The National Law Journal identifies the institutions where the nation’s largest and most prestigious law firms go to hire young attorneys.

The special report ranks the top 50 law schools by the percentage of 2012 juris doctor graduates (law degrees) who took jobs at the nation’s 250 largest law firms as measured by headcount. It appears in the February 25th issue of the newspaper and is also available online at www.nlj.com.

The report is based on a survey of 248 firms and covers 4,429 graduates. The rankings do not reflect law graduates who took jobs as clerks following graduation.

“Our research found that most of the law schools sent slightly larger percentages of their 2012 classes into first-year associate jobs at NLJ 250 firms than they did during 2011,” noted David L. Brown, editor in chief of The National Law Journal. “We found that, among the 50 schools most popular with hiring firms, 25 percent of graduates landed associate jobs, up from 22 percent in 2011. Still, hiring was not as robust as in 2010, when 27 percent of the graduates from the top 50 schools landed at the largest firms.”

Other highlights in the special report include the following:

• The University of Pennsylvania Law School tops the list for the second year in a row, sending nearly 59 percent of its 2012 graduates into associate jobs at NLJ 250 firms. The University of Chicago Law School and Columbia Law School round out the top three.
• Latham & Watkins hired the largest new associate class with 148, edging out Kirkland & Ellis by two hires.
• Declining applications to law schools didn’t slow tuition growth in 2012, but prices didn’t always translate into better job prospects. Cornell Law School, for example, charged the highest tuition at $53,226, but earned a Go-To Law School rank of No. 9.

For the first time ever, the NLJ is making all of the hiring data from its annual Go-To Law Schools special report available online. Users can search by law school or by law firm to learn more about 2012 graduate hiring. The Go-To Law Schools rankings are based on survey responses from 190 of the largest 250 firms in the country by headcount, as well as additional data gathered from law firm websites.

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