The American Bar Foundation, an independent nonprofit research group, provided a sneak preview at the 2023 American Bar Association Midyear Meeting of its latest iteration of an ambitious project capturing the career paths of the law school licensing class of 2000.
The “After the JD” project gathers systematic, detailed data regarding careers and experiences of a national cross-section of about 5,400 law graduates who were admitted to the bar in 2000. By periodically tracking their career outcomes, the study provides a unique glimpse into the changing nature of the legal profession during much of the past two decades.
As outlined by ABF Director Emeritus Robert Nelson, now a Northwestern University sociology professor, the latest findings cover 2019 research and follows similar announcements for “waves” in 2003, 2007 and 2012. “This is a uniquely comprehensive study of lawyers’ careers or of any occupation,” Nelson said at the Feb. 3 program, “The Making of Lawyers’ Careers: Inequity and Opportunity in the American Legal Profession.”
The full study is scheduled to be released in September and will show that after two decades in law the tracked attorneys experience deep divisions by client type and practice setting, and that women and lawyers of color continue to report barriers to equal opportunity, the ABF said in its materials.