Legal Employment Statistics

The current legal job market has generated many questions regarding the path to employment for new attorneys, as well as, the job search process for law students.

We provide detailed information regarding the employment outcomes of our recent graduating classes.  It is beneficial for prospective and current students to review this information to determine how Santa Clara Law graduates have performed in the legal job market, consider the economic forces affecting the delivery of legal services, and to determine how this information will affect the manner in which they approach their own job search.

Santa Clara Law is committed to helping each student and graduate achieve their objectives, so if you do not find the information you are seeking, please feel free to speak with Law Career Services, Student Services, and any dean, faculty or staff member.

EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS FOR SANTA CLARA GRADUATES

We collect employment information from our most recent graduating class annually, following guidelines established by the Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP) and the American Bar Association (ABA).

Santa Clara Law reports de-identified employment data about its graduates to multiple legal industry organizations, including the ABA and NALP. Each organization collects different types of information and uses different categories and definitions. These differences cause the statistics in each report to vary slightly.  The data reported to ABA and NALP is later used by US News & World Report.

You can find information on the employment outcomes for the classes of 2010 and 2011 below:

EMPLOYMENT STATUS FOR THE CLASS OF 2012

Total class size = 298

Percent

Percent employed

75.8%

Percent seeking work

8%

Percent not seeking work

9%

*Percent start date deferred

1%

Percent in a full-time degree program

1%

**Percent unknown status

4.7%

The ABA Report for the Class of 2012 follows, and click here for the NALP Summary Report for the Class of 2012. The employment outcomes for the Class of 2012 are published in accordance with the ABA Standard 509.

CLASS OF 2012 EMPLOYMENT REPORT AT 9 MONTHS AFTER GRADUATION

Employment Status Full Time Long Term Full Time Short Term Part Time Long Term Part Time Short Term Number
Employed – Bar Passage Required 128 6 13 7 154 / 51.68%
Employed – JD Advantage 40 0 1 19 60 / 20.13%
Employed – Professional Position 4 0 0 0 4 / 1.34%
Employed – Non-Professional Position 1 0 6 0 7 / 2.35%
Employed – Undeterminable 1 0 0 0 1 / 0.34%
Pursuing Graduate Degree Full-Time 4 / 1.34%
Unemployed – Start Date Deferred 2 / 0.67%
Unemployed – Not Seeking 28 / 9.40%
Unemployed – Seeking 24 / 8.05%
Employment Status Unknown 14 / 4.70%

Total graduates

298

Law School/University Funded Position Full Time Long Term Full Time Short Term Part Time Long Term Part Time Short Term Number
Of Employed – Law School/Univ Funded 1 0 0 18 19
Employment Type Full Time Long Term Full Time Short Term Part Time Long Term Part Time Short Term Number
Law Firms
Solo 5 0 1 0 6
2-10 41 1 8 3 53
11-25 14 0 1 0 15
26-50 7 0 0 0 7
51-100 7 0 0 0 7
101-250 1 0 0 0 1
251-500 2 0 0 0 2
501+ 28 0 0 0 28
Unknown 4 0 1 0 5
Business & Industry 41 3 9 4 57
Government 15 1 0 0 16
Public Interest (inc. Pub. Def.) 4 1 0 0 5
Clerkships Federal 0 0 0 0 0
Clerkships State & Local 0 0 0 0 0
Clerkships Other 0 0 0 0 0
Education 4 0 0 19 23
Employer Type Unknown* 1
Total 174 6 20 26 226
Employment Location  State Number
State # – largest employment California 208
State # – 2nd largest employment Texas 4
State # – 3rd largest employment Colorado 2
# employed in foreign countries 2

Notes:
*Employer type unknown – graduate self-reported as employed, but did not report any details regarding the type of employment.


Below we have included several charts that reflect the breakdown of the Class of 2012 in terms of employment sectors, geographical settings, salary and other job-related terms, such as whether the nature of a graduate’s job is full-time or part-time.

Employment Status for the Class of 2012

Total class size = 298

Percent

Percent employed

75.8%

Percent seeking work

8%

Percent not seeking work

9%

*Percent start date deferred

1%

Percent in a full-time degree program

1%

**Percent unknown status

4.7%

* Graduates in this category had accepted a written offer of employment by February 15, 2013, but the start date of the employment was subsequent to February 15, 2013.

** Out of the 298 graduates in the Class of 2012, there were 14 graduates with an unknown employment status.

Employed graduates are those working in positions for which they were hired and selected by the employer. We encourage you to learn more about employment data by reviewing the NALP 2012 Graduate Survey and FAQs and the ABA Placement Questionnaire Definitions and Instructions.

Please note that the employment information presented is self-reported by graduates to Santa Clara Law. We cannot be certain that the resulting data is factually accurate, or that it has not changed since we collected and published it. The changing economic climate with respect to legal services in combination with the self-reported nature of the employment information means that readers should not assume that their employment prospects are guaranteed to be consistent with the findings presented here.

Employment Sectors

Graduates of the Class of 2012 are employed in a variety of sectors. Among the 226 graduates who were employed nine months following graduation, 225 of them described the type of employment sector they work in and 1 was unknown. The following chart represents the percentage of reporting 2012 graduates employed in each sector.

Total graduates employed – 226

Setting

Percent

Law Firms

55%

Business/Industry

25%

Government

7%

Public Interest

2%

Judicial Clerkship

0%

Academic

10%

Employer Type Unknown

.4%

Geographic Regions Where 2012 Santa Clara Law Graduates are Employed

Santa Clara Law graduates work in a variety of geographic areas, with the majority employed in the Pacific region. Among the graduates who were employed nine months following graduation, 225 of them reported the geographic region where they work.

Region

Number of graduates
(among 225 grads reporting geography)

Northern California

Contra Costa County

4

Marin County

2

Santa Clara County

118

San Mateo County

20

Alameda County

10

San Francisco County

29

Napa County

1

Stanislaus County

1

Santa Cruz Area

3

Sacramento Area

3

Southern California

Los Angeles area

11

San Diego

1

Central Valley

2

Other California

1

Virginia

2

Texas

4

Massachusetts

1

New York

1

North Carolina

1

Colorado

2

Florida

1

Oregon

1

Washington

1

International

2

Salary Information

Starting salaries for new lawyers vary tremendously. Most jobs do not pay the median or the average of salaries reported. Instead salaries are distributed along a continuum from high to low. An interesting phenomenon in the legal industry is that this distribution is not along a bell shaped curve. Instead there is a bi-modal curve demonstrating one range of salaries (primarily offered by large law firms) and a second range representing the rest of the legal market.

The following chart is provided by NALP and represents all reported salaries of all law school graduates in the class of 2012.

Distribution of Reported Full-Time Salaries — Class of 2012

NALP Distribution Curve 2012

Salary Information by Type of Employer

Among the graduates who were employed nine months following graduation, 100 of them shared their salary. Keep in mind that the salary information regarding SCU graduates is self-reported and we cannot be certain that the resulting data is factually accurate. The NALP Best Practices Guide dictates that, “if there are fewer than 5 reported salaries for any employment category, schools are urged not to report any salary statistics in that category in order to protect graduates’ privacy.”

Type of Employer

Number of grads who provided salary

Percent of Reported Salary

Average Salary

Minimum

25th Percentile

Median

75th Percentile

Maximum

Law Firms

64

51.61%

$120,317

$28,000

$75,000

$140,000

$160,000

$170,000

Government

10

62.50%

$69,200

$40,000

$54,000

$69,000

$86,250

$90,000

Public Interest

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Judicial Clerkship

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Academic

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Business/Industry

23

40.35%

$83,052

$18,000

$70,000

$75,000

$100,000

$150,000

Military

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Unknown Type

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Less than 5 salaries

Law Firm Size and Law Firm Salary Information

Law firm size and geographic location play a significant role in determining compensation. Aggregate information is available on the NALP website. More than half of our employed 2012 graduates are working in law firms. Among the graduates who were employed nine months following graduation in law firms, 124 of them described the size of the law firm. Among those who shared the size of their law firm, 62 of them told us what salary they earn at their firm.

Law Firm Size

Number of grads who provided salary

Percent of Reported Salary

Average Salary

Minimum

25th Percentile

Median

75th Percentile

Maximum

2-10 attorneys

17

31.48%

$74,500

$28,000

$47,500

$60,000

$92,000

$145,000

11-25 attorneys

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

26-50 attorneys

5

71.43%

$105,500

$70,000

$80,000

$112,500

$127,500

$135,000

51-100 attorneys

6

75.00%

$120,167

$75,000

$75,750

$125,000

$160,000

$160,000

101-250 attorneys

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

251-500 attorneys

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

501+ attorneys

27

100%

$150,741

$65,000

$160,000

$160,000

$160,000

$170,000

Firm size unknown

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

Solo Practice

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

*Less than 5 salaries

* The NALP Best Practices Guide dictates that, “if there are fewer than 5 reported salaries for any employment category, schools are urged not to report any salary statistics in that category in order to protect graduates’ privacy.” For comparative information on salaries please refer to the “Salaries and Compensation” page on the NALP website.

Breakdown of 2012 Graduates in Government, Business/Industry and Public Interest

It can be helpful to understand more detail about the type of work that graduates are performing in their respective employment settings. The following charts reflect a breakdown of graduates in government, business and public interest settings.

Type of Government Employer

Percent (among 16 grads reporting they are in government settings)

Federal

19%

State

12%

Local

69%

Military

0%

 

 

Type of Business Employer

Percent (among 57 grads reporting they are in business settings)

Accounting

10.5%

Legal temporary agency

5.2%

Banking/Finance

7%

Insurance

0%

Entertainment/Sports Management

1.8%

Management Consulting

3.5%

Publishing

0%

Technology

51%

Trade Association

0%

Other business

21%

 

Type of Public Interest Services

Percent (among 5 grads reporting they are in public interest settings)

Community education/organizing

20%

Civil legal services

0%

Policy

0%

Public defender

40%

Other

40%

 

Other Employment Information

There are additional details about the employment of recent graduates that can be helpful to understand, including how they found their jobs. The following chart illustrates how graduates from the Class of 2012 found employment.

Where did graduates find employment?

Percent (among 108 grads who reported the source of job)

Career Services job posting

24%

Job fair

1%

Temp/recruiting agency

0%

Fall OCI

24%

Spring OCI

0%

Referral from colleague/friend

25%

Return to/continue with pre-law school employer

9.3%

Started own practice/business

7.4%

Networking

2.8%

Commercial Internet site

1.8%

Other

3.7%

EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS FOR LAW GRADUATES – NATIONWIDE

NALP provides nationally-based, aggregate information about law graduate employment, and we have included direct links to NALP data so that you can get an idea about the national legal market.

See www.nalp.org for more information.