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April 22, 2024

ABA legal education section releases employment data for graduating law class of 2023

CHICAGO, April 22, 2024 — Employment data for the graduating law class of 2023, as reported to the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar by ABA-approved law schools accepting new J.D. students, is now publicly available.

An online table provides select national outcomes and side-by-side comparisons for the classes of 2022 and 2023. Further reports on employment outcomes, including links to individual school outcomes and spreadsheets aggregating those reports, are available now on the ABA Required Disclosures page of the section’s website. Schools can make corrections to their individual school outcomes for the Class of 2023 through June 14. 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 the post-graduation status of law graduates on March 15, approximately 10 months after spring graduation. Under Interpretation 509-2 of Standard 509, law schools are permitted to publicize additional employment outcome data as long as the information complies with Standard 509(a), which requires that all information that a law school reports, publicizes or distributes shall be complete, accurate and not misleading to a reasonable law school student or applicant.

“The percentage of recent law school graduates employed in full-time, long-term Bar Passage Required or J.D. Advantage jobs has reached its highest level in the past decade,” said Bill Adams, managing director of ABA accreditation and legal education.

Adams noted that beginning with the Class of 2019, the percentage rose above 80% and has been steadily rising, but for a slight dip to 77.4% for the Class of 2020. “This dip was likely due to the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the legal market, cancelations and delays to bar admission exam administrations, and an approximately 1.4% increase in the size of the graduating class that year,” he explained.

For the class of 2023, the aggregated school data shows that 30,160 graduates, or 85.6% of the 2023 graduates of the 195 ABA-approved law schools, were employed in full-time, long-term Bar Passage Required or J.D. Advantage jobs roughly 10 months after graduation. That compares to 30,512 or 84.6% of the graduates reporting similar full-time, long-term jobs in the previous 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.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers 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 online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on X (formerly Twitter) @ABANews.