April 20, 2018

ABA legal education section releases employment data for graduating law class of 2017

CHICAGO, April 20, 2018 – Employment data for the graduating law class of 2017 as reported by American Bar Association-approved law schools to the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is now publicly available.  

The aggregate national data on law graduate employment outcome for the class of 2017 and individual schools' post-graduate employment figures can be found online. An online table also provides select national side-by-side comparisons between the classes of 2017 and 2016.

The aggregated school data shows that 75.3 percent of the 2017 graduates of the 204 law schools approved by the ABA to offer the J.D. degree were employed in full-time long-term Bar Passage Required or J.D. Advantage jobs roughly 10 months after graduation. That compares to 72.6 percent of the graduates reporting similar full-time long-term jobs last year. The higher percentage of students so employed, however, results from an approximately 6 percent decrease in the size of the graduating class. The actual number of full-time long-term Bar Passage Required or J.D. Advantage jobs decreased by 630, or -2.34 percent year over year, going from 26,923 in 2016 to 26,293 in 2017.

The ABA's accrediting body, under Standard 509 of the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, requires schools to report to the ABA and publicly disclose varied information, including employment outcomes. Employment and other statistics are posted to the Section of Legal Education statistics website.

The council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and its accreditation committee are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting agency for programs leading to the J.D. The section’s 14,000 members strive to improve legal education and lawyer licensing by fostering cooperation among legal educators, practitioners and judges through workshops, conferences and publications. The section also studies and makes recommendations for the improvement of the bar admission process, and the section and its governing council operate for accreditation purposes as independent arms of the ABA.

ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to legal questions and issues. Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com and follow us on Twitter @ABAFactCheck.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association 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. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews