CHICAGO, April 25, 2023 — Employment data for the graduating law class of 2022 as reported by American Bar Association-approved law schools to the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar as of April 5, is now available.
The 2023 Employment Outcomes Table provides select national outcomes and side-by-side comparisons for the classes of 2021 and 2022. Further reports on employment outcomes, including links to individual school outcomes and spreadsheets aggregating those reports, will be available soon on the ABA Required Disclosures page of the section’s website. Schools can make minor corrections to their individual school outcomes for the Class of 2022 until Dec. 20. These corrections will be reflected in the Employment Summary Reports that are required to be posted publicly on their websites, as well as on the ABA Required Disclosures page.
Each year’s employment outcomes measure law graduate employment on March 15, which is approximately 10 months after spring graduation. Under Interpretation 509-2 of Standard 509, law schools are permitted to publicize additional employment outcome data beyond what the Employment Protocols require as long as the information complies with Standard 509(a). Standard 509(a) requires that all information that a law school reports, publicizes or distributes should be complete, accurate and not misleading to a reasonable law school student or applicant.
The employment growth occurred despite a slight increase of 1%, or 366, in the number of graduates in the class of 2022 for the 196 ABA-approved schools taking new students, said Bill Adams, managing director of ABA accreditation and legal education.
“This is the second consecutive year of positive job growth,” Adams said. “While modest in the number of new jobs nationwide this year, when added to the previous year’s increase the job market for newly minted attorneys has clearly recovered. Interestingly, the growth in the number of jobs in law firms rather than other aspects of the law shows the largest gain in percentage points.”
For the class of 2022, the aggregated school data shows that 30,512 or 84.6% of the 2022 graduates were employed in full-time, long-term Bar Passage Required or J.D. Advantage jobs roughly 10 months after graduation. That compares to 29,624 or 83% of the graduates reporting similar full-time, long-term jobs last year. The actual number of full-time, long-term Bar Passage Required or J.D. Advantage jobs increased by 888 (+3%) year-over-year.
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 web page.
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.
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