Legal employment outcomes in Florida in 2015

This is the sixth in the series of visualizations of legal employment outcomes in 2015. The previous visualizations were for Texas, Ohio, California, New York, and DC-Maryland-Virginia.

As with some other jurisdictions, Texas employment outcomes worsened somewhat. There were 1383 full-time, long-term, bar passage-required jobs (excluded law school-funded positions) for the Class of 2015, down from 1419 for the Class of 2014. (As a separate note, Western Michigan University-Cooley separately reported its Tampa campus outcomes for the Class of 2015, and those totals are included for that class but not the Class of 2014.) There was a significant decline in graduates, from 2445 for the Class of 2014 to just 1973 graduates for the Class of 2015 (2079 if you include Cooley-Tampa's 2015 totals). That was the source of improvement in outcomes for most schools--the overall employment rate stood at 70.9%, up a couple of points from last year.

As usual, the chart is sorted by the "full-weight" positions, designating both full-time, long-term, bar passage-required and J.D.-advantage positions. There are additional designations for school-funded positions in these areas, and for all other outcomes. The table below the chart is sorted by the combined bar passage-required, J.D.-advantage, and law school-funded positions (as printed in U.S. News & World Reports), with raw figures and a year-over-year comparison beside. (As an additional note, these are the ABA-reported figures; subsequent amended figures from schools are not included. One school whose website self-reported it was not required to disclose its figures was excluded.)

As usual, please notify me of any errors.

Peer Score School 2015 YoY% BPR JDA LSF 2014 BPR JDA LSF
2.9 Florida State University 81.7% 4.5 183 23 0 77.2% 180 27 0
3.1 University of Florida 81.5% 5.4 232 15 0 76.1% 214 21 0
1.6 Florida International University 81.0% 2.4 97 22 0 78.6% 101 20 0
2.1 Stetson University 79.7% 4.8 171 49 0 74.9% 175 55 0
2.7 University of Miami 71.2% -8.2 257 40 0 79.4% 285 44 3
1.6 Nova Southeastern University 64.0% -3.1 173 10 0 67.1% 174 14 0
1.3 St. Thomas University 50.9% 0.0 71 13 0 50.9% 102 8 0
1.4 Florida A&M University 50.3% 7.2 56 18 0 43.1% 59 16 0
1.1 Ave Maria School of Law 50.0% 4.5 31 11 1 45.5% 40 9 1
1.1 Barry University 48.7% -8.2 80 33 0 56.9% 89 30 0
1.1 Western Michigan University-Cooley (Tampa) 45.3% n/a 32 16 0        

Fictional Attorney of the Month: J.J. Ford

Josie-Jo Ford was the first African-American and the first woman elected to a judicial position in Wisconsin. A judge on the state court of appeals, she's one of the many possible heirs to the estate of Samuel Westing, whose death spurs the mystery at the heart of the novel The Westing Game.

Judge Ford is calculating and rational, everything a good judge ought to be. She does concede a weakness--her perpetual inability to defeat Samuel Westing at a game of chess while he was alive. He always managed stay one step ahead, out-maneuvering her and striking her in a blind spot for each game.

Judge Ford had long ago decided to stop smiling, finding it "demeaning" to smile with no good reason--"A serious face put the smiler on the defensive, a rare smile put a nervous witness at ease." And the Westing game culminates with a kind of trial near the end of the novel, but of a bizarre sort at the prompting of the young heroine Turtle:

Judge Ford rapped for silence with the walnut gavel presented to her by her associates on her appointment to a higher court. Higher court? This was the lowest court she had ever presided at: a thirteen-year-old lawyer, a court stenographer who records in Polish, and the judge in African robes. Oh well, she had played Sam Westing's game, now she would play Turtle's game.

The epilogue reveals that Judge Ford would elevated to the federal court of appeals and ultimately the United States Supreme Court. And while two other lawyers do make appearances (perhaps for later discussion), J.J. Ford is this month's Fictional Attorney of the Month.

Visualizing legal employment outcomes in Texas in 2015

This is the fifth in the series of visualizations of legal employment outcomes in 2015. The previous visualizations were for Ohio, California, New York, and DC-Maryland-Virginia.

As with some other jurisdictions, Texas employment outcomes worsened somewhat. There were 1272 full-time, long-term, bar passage-required jobs (excluded law school-funded positions) for the Class of 2015, down from 1378 for the Class of 2014. J.D.-advantage positions declined from 236 to 173. Despite a decline of about 150 graduates, to 2072 graduates, among the nine Texas schools, the overall employment rate stood at 69.7% (excluding school-funded positions), down a couple of points from last year.

As usual, the chart is sorted by the "full-weight" positions, designating both full-time, long-term, bar passage-required and J.D.-advantage positions. There are additional designations for school-funded positions in these areas, and for all other outcomes. The table below the chart is sorted by the combined bar passage-required, J.D.-advantage, and law school-funded positions (as printed in U.S. News & World Reports), with raw figures and a year-over-year comparison beside. (As an additional note, these are the ABA-reported figures; subsequent amended figures from schools are not included.)

As usual, please notify me of any errors.

Peer Score School 2015 YoY% BPR JDA LSF 2014 BPR JDA LSF
2.4 Baylor University 88.0% 15.2 88 5 2 72.8% 92 6 1
4.0 University of Texas-Austin 84.5% -2.1 268 20 11 86.6% 251 30 23
2.6 Southern Methodist University 83.7% 1.0 183 17 0 82.7% 177 33 0
2.6 University of Houston 78.2% -5.4 129 42 1 83.6% 167 43 4
1.9 Texas Tech University 73.5% 1.6 138 17 0 71.8% 129 24 0
2.1 Texas A&M University 67.8% 4.0 137 17 0 63.8% 121 26 1
1.6 St. Mary's University 61.6% -7.2 113 19 1 68.8% 129 21 0
1.6 South Texas College of Law 54.2% -18.6 164 25 1 72.8% 241 43 0
1.4 Texas Southern University 42.9% -3.1 52 11 0 46.0% 71 10 0

Visualizing legal employment outcomes in Ohio in 2015

This is the fourth in the series of visualizations of legal employment outcomes in 2015. The previous visualizations were for California, New York, and DC-Maryland-Virginia.

Ohio is notable for having nine ABA-accredited law schools. Class of 2015 graduates declined significantly, from 1297 for the Class of 2014 to 1089 last year. But job outcomes actually worsened significantly--there were just 594 bar passage-required jobs among these graduates, down from 699 the previous year. The percentage of graduates employed in bar passage-required and J.D-advantage job was 68.2% among these schools, worse than last year's 69.2% rate. (Law school-funded positions add a marginal number of positions.)

As usual, the chart is sorted by the "full-weight" positions, designating both full-time, long-term, bar passage-required and J.D.-advantage positions. There are additional designations for school-funded positions in these areas, and for all other outcomes. The table below the chart is sorted by the combined bar passage-required, J.D.-advantage, and law school-funded positions (as printed in U.S. News & World Reports), with raw figures and a year-over-year comparison beside.

As usual, please notify me of any errors.

Peer Score School 2015 YoY% BPR JDA LSF 2014 BPR JDA LSF
3.3 Ohio State University 86.9% -4.5 132 19 2 91.4% 155 32 5
2.4 University of Cincinnati 80.7% -1.7 67 21 0 82.4% 79 24 0
2.6 Case Western Reserve University 70.8% 4.8 86 16 0 66.1% 91 19 1
1.8 University of Toledo 66.7% 7.3 48 21 1 59.3% 54 18 1
1.8 Cleveland State University 66.1% -2.2 57 15 0 68.2% 74 29 0
1.7 University of Dayton 63.4% -9.4 48 11 0 72.9% 74 28 0
1.8 University of Akron 63.4% -8.8 73 17 0 72.2% 66 25 0
1.5 Capital University 54.1% 7.8 57 23 0 46.3% 62 12 0
1.5 Ohio Northern University 50.8% -7.7 26 6 0 58.5% 44 11 0

Visualizing legal employment outcomes in California in 2015

Following up on my posts about employment outcomes in New York and in DC-Maryland-Virginia, and as I did last year with California, here are the legal employment outcomes in California for the Class of 2015.

Graduating classes continue to shrink, from 5185 in the Class of 2013, to 4731 in the Class of 2014, to 4403 in the Class of 2015.

But total job placement remains flat. There were 2807 unfunded, "full-weight" positions (full-time, long-term, bar passage-required and J.D.-advantage) for the Class of 2015, essentially unchanged from the 2849 from last year. We've seen a few years in a row where total positions among California law schools hover between 2800 and 2900. The shrinking graduating class, however, helped to improve outcomes yet again--the placement rate in these full-weight rose from 60.2% to 63.8%.

There was a significant drop-off in school funded positions, from 145 to 107. The University of Southern California dropped from 33 to 7 such positions; UC-Davis from 19 to 9; and Loyola-Los Angeles from 10 to 3. Bucking the trend, UC-Irvine increased from 13 to 20 such positions, and Whittier from 0 to 9.

As usual, the chart is sorted by the "full-weight" positions, designating both full-time, long-term, bar passage-required and J.D.-advantage positions. There are additional designations for school-funded positions in these areas, and other outcomes. The table below is sorted by the combined bar passage-required, J.D.-advantage, and law school-funded positions (as printed in U.S. News & World Reports), with raw figures and a year-over-year comparison beside.

As usual, please notify me of any errors.

Peer Score School 2015 YoY% BPR JDA LSF 2014 BPR JDA LSF
4.8 Stanford University 92.3% -1.3 166 8 6 93.6% 159 5 10
3.9 University of California-Los Angeles 91.3% 3.8 247 25 34 87.5% 240 22 32
4.5 University of California-Berkeley 91.0% -4.5 237 5 11 95.5% 245 9 20
3.2 University of California-Irvine 84.5% -0.4 71 2 20 84.9% 59 10 13
3.4 University of Southern California 80.3% -5.4 155 9 7 85.7% 141 12 33
3.3 University of California-Davis 77.3% -4.4 125 9 9 81.7% 113 7 19
2.6 Loyola Law School-Los Angeles 74.3% 3.3 227 42 3 71.0% 231 41 10
3.1 University of California-Hastings 66.9% 9.2 174 28 4 57.7% 205 26 2
1.8 Chapman University 64.4% 9.3 62 23 0 55.1% 66 10 0
2.6 Pepperdine University 64.0% 4.4 104 21 1 59.6% 97 20 1
2.6 University of San Diego 62.3% 4.2 138 16 0 58.1% 128 27 1
1.8 McGeorge School of Law 59.6% 0.2 105 31 0 59.4% 84 26 1
1.5 California Western School of Law 58.5% 1.4 90 41 0 57.1% 106 18 0
2.4 Santa Clara University 53.9% 6.0 86 32 0 47.9% 93 32 0
nr University of La Verne 51.3% 1.3 16 4 0 50.0% 20 2 0
2.0 University of San Francisco 51.2% 4.5 60 22 3 46.7% 65 27 0
1.1 Western State College of Law 50.9% 5.6 46 10 0 45.3% 49 18 0
1.3 Whittier Law School 48.9% 5.1 30 30 9 43.8% 53 32 0
1.8 Southwestern Law School 48.2% -7.7 115 35 0 55.9% 121 53 1
1.6 Golden Gate University 41.1% 9.4 58 7 0 31.7% 45 11 2
1.2 Thomas Jefferson School of Law 39.4% -1.6 59 36 0 41.0% 87 33 0

Visualizing legal employment outcomes in New York in 2015

Following up on yesterday's post on outcomes in DC-Maryland-Virginia, and last year's post on outcomes in New York, here is a visualization for legal employment outcomes of graduates of New York law schools for the Class of 2015. (More about the methodology is available at the DC-Maryland-Virginia post.)

The number of graduates dropped significantly, from about 4500 for the Class of 2014 to just under 4100 for the Class of 2015. Law school-funded positions have never been very popular, but they declined slightly, from 93 to 73. And as has been the case, the improvements are largely because classes are smaller. There were 3407 full-time, long-term, bar passage required and J.D. advantage jobs, including school-funded positions, for the Class of 2014. That raw figure actually declined somewhat, to 3237 positions for the Class of 2015. But the percentage of the Class of 2015 securing such jobs improved, from to 75.2% to 79.3%.

As always, please notify me of any corrections or errata.

Peer score School 2015 YoY% BPR JDA LSF 2014 BPR JDA LSF
4.6 Columbia University 98.8% 3.0 360 10 28 95.7% 408 9 31
4.5 New York University 96.7% 0.0 424 14 31 96.7% 412 12 39
4.2 Cornell University 95.5% -0.8 164 3 3 96.3% 172 1 11
2.1 St. John's University 81.9% 8.7 173 29 1 73.2% 158 32 0
1.9 Albany Law School 80.3% 7.8 119 25 3 72.5% 127 21 0
2.7 Cardozo School of Law 76.8% 9.7 246 32 0 67.1% 221 41 1
3.1 Fordham University 76.1% 2.0 274 37 1 74.1% 311 29 0
1.9 Pace University 75.5% 6.8 93 17 1 68.7% 122 22 5
2.2 Hofstra University 73.8% 2.8 201 17 4 71.0% 180 41 4
2.4 Brooklyn Law School 73.2% 9.3 215 31 0 63.9% 200 44 0
2.2 University of Buffalo-SUNY 70.7% 1.0 115 20 0 69.6% 114 19 0
1.9 New York Law School 67.6% 3.5 171 66 1 64.1% 179 85 2
2.3 Syracuse University 65.6% -6.4 104 20 0 72.0% 121 31 0
2.1 City University of New York 64.0% 13.3 66 5 0 50.7% 73 3 0
1.5 Touro College 60.4% -3.9 105 8 0 64.3% 111 15 0

Visualizing legal employment outcomes in DC-Maryland-Virginia in 2015

Following up on my post from last year, here are the employment outcomes for law schools in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia for the Class of 2015. The U.S. News & World Report rankings recently released, which include data for the Class of 2014, are already obsolete. The ABA will release the information soon, but individualized employment reports are available on schools' websites.

The USNWR prints the "employed" rate as "the percentage of all graduates who had a full-time job lasting at least a year for which bar passage was required or a J.D. degree was an advantage." But it does not give "full weight" in its internal ranking metric to jobs that were funded by the law school. USNWR gives other positions lower weight, but these positions are not included in the ranking tables. And while it includes J.D. advantage positions, there remain disputes about whether those positions are really as valuable. (Some have further critiqued solo practitioners being included in the bar passage required statistics.)

The chart is sorted by non-school-funded jobs (or "full weight" positions). The visualization breaks out full-time, long-term, bar passage required positions (not funded by the school); full-time, long term, J.D.-advantage positions (not funded by the school); school funded positions (full-time, long-term, bar passage required or J.D.-advantage positions); and all other outcomes. This year, I included a breakdown in the visualization slightly distinguishing bar passage required positions from J.D.-advantage positions, even though both are included in "full weight" for USNWR purposes (and I still sort the chart by "full weight" positions).

The table below the chart breaks down the raw data values for the Classes of 2014 and 2015, with relative overall changes year-over-year, and is sorted by total placement (as USNWR prints). The columns beside each year break out the three categories in the total placement: FTLT unfunded bar passage required ("BPR"), FTLT unfunded J.D. advantage ("JDA"), and FTLT law school funded BPR & JDA positions ("LSF"). Total jobs in these bar passage-required and J.D.-advantage positions declined somewhat, from 3119 to 2825. Part of this was undoubtedly fueled by a significant decline in school-funded positions, from 271 to just 90--many schools have rather dramatically slashed such positions. There were about 250 fewer graduates, from 3992 to 3740. Nevertheless, overall prospects for graduates became worse: the overall employment rate was 75.5% (including all funded positions), down from 78.1% last year. More granular data is available at each school's website.

As always, if I made a mistake, please feel free to email me or comment; I confess there are always risks in data translation, and I am happy to make corrections.

Peer score School 2015 YoY% BPR JDA LSF 2014 BPR JDA LSF
4.3 University of Virginia 95.4% -1.2 311 9 30 96.6% 296 7 34
2.7 George Mason University 86.8% 6.9 94 34 4 79.9% 95 45 7
3.0 Washington and Lee University 82.2% 7.4 131 11 1 74.8% 81 13 1
4.1 Georgetown University 80.2% -7.0 456 50 38 87.2% 436 38 72
3.3 George Washington University 78.3% -10.9 301 55 8 89.2% 383 60 78
3.2 William and Mary Law School 75.8% -6.5 118 17 0 82.3% 137 16 24
3.0 University of Maryland 75.3% 0.0 156 47 1 75.3% 169 52 2
2.0 University of Baltimore 74.2% 3.8 142 56 0 70.4% 161 60 0
2.4 University of Richmond 74.2% -7.7 97 21 0 81.9% 88 34 0
2.1 Catholic University of America 70.4% -0.5 63 37 0 70.9% 82 45 0
1.3 Regent University 65.3% 2.2 67 10 0 63.1% 58 19 0
1.2 Appalachian School of Law 63.3% 21.2 32 4 2 42.1% 34 5 1
2.7 American University 61.4% -8.8 205 76 4 70.2% 207 68 48
2.3 Howard University 59.5% -6.0 57 12 0 65.5% 61 12 1
1.2 Liberty University 54.1% -2.5 31 1 1 56.6% 35 7 1
1.4 District of Columbia 51.5% 6.8 15 19 1 44.7% 27 17 2

New opinion piece at Reuters: schooling candidates on GOP primary rules

I have a new opinion piece at Reuters, "GOP Nomination Process 101: Candidate's Remedial Edition." It begins:

Donald Trump has complained that the Republican primary process is a “rigged, disgusting, dirty system” that deprives people of the chance to vote for their preferred presidential candidate. He accuses the Republican Party of stealing delegates from him.

If he thinks this system is complex, Trump should look to the GOP’s past primary elections. Now, those were complicated!