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September 26, 2022 Asked and Answered

Employment outcomes were great for 2021 law school graduates; is that a sign of caution?

By Stephanie Francis Ward

The overall employment outcomes for 2007 and 2021 law school graduates were both 91.9%, according to data recently released by the National Association for Law Placement. And while that sounds like a good thing, it could be a warning, says Aaron Taylor, executive director of AccessLex’s Center for Legal Education Excellence.

That’s because based on the high employment numbers for 2007 graduates, many law schools admitted more students than they should for the following years. And by 2011, after the Great Recession, only 85.6% of the year’s graduating class had jobs, Taylor says.

Taylor adds that while admissions and career services offices frequently work together to determine class sizes, based on the predicted number of jobs that will be available, sometimes there are tensions with law school deans and university administration, who may want to admit more students than staff suggests.

Send ideas for future episodes to ABA Journal Senior Writer Stephanie Francis Ward.

In This Podcast

Aaron Taylor

Aaron Taylor is the executive director of AccessLex’s Center for Legal Education Excellence. The center focuses on legal education and the bar admissions process, and Taylor’s research often focuses on the experiences of underrepresented people seeking entry into law school and the profession.

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