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April 29, 2019

ABA legal education section releases employment data for graduating law class of 2018

CHICAGO, April 29, 2019 — Employment data for the graduating law class of 2018 as reported by American Bar Association-approved law schools to the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is now publicly available.  

An online table provides select national outcomes and side-by-side comparisons for the classes of 2017 and 2018. Further reports on employment outcomes, including links to individual school outcomes and spreadsheets aggregating those reports are available on the ABA Required Disclosures page of the section’s website.

The employment market for law graduates has stabilized since 2012-13 and is showing incremental improvement. For the class of 2018, the aggregated school data shows that 78.6 percent of the 2018 graduates of the 200 law schools enrolling students and 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 75.3 percent of the graduates reporting similar full-time long-term jobs last year.

The higher percentage of students so employed, however, results from both a modest increase in jobs and an approximately 2 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 increased by 714 (2.72 percent) year-over-year, going from 26,293 in 2017 to 27,007 in 2018.

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’s statistics website. Earlier this month, the section released both individual school and aggregate bar passage statistics.

The Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is 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.

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 and on Twitter @ABANews