Five of Florida’s 11 law schools posted a higher-than-average employment rate for class of 2017 graduates, according to American Bar Association law school employment data.
Nationwide, 75.3 percent of 2017 graduates were employed 10 months after graduation in full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage or for which a law degree offers an advantage. In Florida, the percentages were 86.4 percent at the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law, 82.7 percent at the University of Miami School of Law, 80.7 percent at Florida International University College of Law, 80.3 percent at Florida State University College of Law, and 77.2 percent at Stetson University College of Law.
The 10-month post-graduation employment rates for the other schools were below the national average. Those rates were 62.4 percent at Nova Southeastern University Law School, 61.7 percent at Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, 58.6 percent at St. Thomas University School of Law, 51.9 percent at Florida A&M University College of Law, 49.4 percent at Ave Maria School of Law, and 46.6 percent at Florida Coastal School of Law.
The overall rate of 75.3 percent is an improvement from the 72.6 percent for graduates of the class of 2016, according to The American Lawyer’s Law Grads Hiring Report. The University of Pennsylvania Law School topped the 2017 employment ranking, with 98.8 percent of its 2017 graduates employed after 10 months in full-time, long-term jobs. The ABA data is for 204 law schools.
The American Lawyer’s report includes charts that rank the schools on several other employment areas tracked by the ABA, such as unemployment and underemployment after 10 months, the percentage of graduates obtaining federal clerkships, and the percentage of graduates in “elite” jobs at firms of 100 or more lawyers or in federal clerkships.
When considering the Florida schools, Florida Coastal had the highest number of unemployed graduates after 10 months, at 24.8 percent, and Stetson had the lowest with 1.9 percent. Florida Coastal also led the underemployed ranking for Florida schools, with 37.8 percent, and Florida State had the lowest with 8.9 percent underemployed. Underemployed means the graduate is either unemployed, in a temporary or part-time job or in a nonprofessional job.
The report listed the 50 law schools with the most 2017 graduates working at federal clerkships, but no Florida school made that list. Among the Florida schools, the University of Florida had the most 2017 graduates, 20.4 percent, working at “elite” firms, with more than 100 lawyers or in a federal clerkship.