Five Texas law schools posted better-than-average employment rates for graduates in the class of 2017, according to American Bar Association law school employment data.
At the 10-month mark after graduation, 75.3 percent of 2017 graduates nationwide were employed in full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage or for which a law degree offers an advantage. The percentages were 86.9 percent at the University of Texas School of Law, 86.2 percent at Baylor Law School, 83.1 percent at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 78.2 percent at Texas Tech University School of Law, and 77.5 percent at the University of Houston Law Center.
The rates for the other Texas law schools were 74.3 percent at Texas A&M University School of Law; 70.9 percent at St. Mary’s School of Law, 65.6 percent at Thurgood Marshall School of Law, 61.7 percent at South Texas College of Law Houston, and 51.5 percent at UNT Dallas College of Law.
The overall rate of 75.3 percent is an improvement from 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 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 hiring report also ranks the schools on several other metrics tracked by the ABA, including unemployment and underemployment at the 10-month mark after graduation, the percentage of graduates obtaining federal clerkships, and the percentage of graduates in “elite” jobs at firms of 100 or more lawyers.
According to the report, South Texas had the highest number of unemployed graduates 10 months after graduation, at 17.5 percent and Baylor had the lowest with 2.3 percent. South Texas also led the underemployed ranking, with 29.9 percent, and Baylor had the lowest percentage among the 10 Texas schools, at 8.5 percent. Underemployed means the graduate is either unemployed, in a temporary or part-time job or in a non-professional job.
Among the Texas schools, the University of Texas had the highest percentage of graduates in federal clerkships, at 8.9 percent. UT also had the highest percentage of graduates among the 10 schools working in “elite” jobs at firms of 100 lawyers or more.