Following up on a series of posts last year (and previous years), this is the first in a series visualizing employment outcomes of law school graduates from the Class of 2017. The U.S. News & World Report ("USNWR") rankings recently released, which include data for the Class of 2016, 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 "all full-time jobs not school or university funded lasting at least a year for which bar passage was required or a J.D. degree was an advantage.)." It does not give "full weight" in its metrics to jobs that were funded by the law school. (That said, USNWR now has "slighted reduced the discount" for school-funded jobs.) 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 actually as valuable as bar passage required jobs. (Some have further critiqued solo practitioners being included in the bar passage required statistics.)
The top 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. 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 2016 and 2017, with relative overall changes year-over-year, and is sorted by total placement including school-funded jobs. 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").
The first state is Florida (last year's visualization here). Western Michigan University-Cooley's Tampa campus did not disclose campus-specific data again this year, so I did not include it. There were 2236 statewide grades, a 10% decline over last year's class. The total placement rate among the graduates was 69.8% with just one school-funded job. That's more than a 4-point improvement over last year, with an assist from the decline class size: total placements shrunk from 1621 to 1561. Importantly, however, J.D. advantage placement dropped from 275 to 196, while bar passage required placement rose from 1346 to 1364.
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.
|3.2||University of Florida||86.4%||4.1||246||33||1||82.4%||230||36||0|
|2.8||University of Miami||82.7%||4.1||195||20||0||78.6%||209||45||0|
|1.9||Florida International University||80.6%||-1.1||112||13||0||81.7%||108||17||0|
|3.0||Florida State University||80.3%||-0.1||150||21||0||80.4%||136||16||0|
|1.6||Nova Southeastern University||62.4%||4.6||129||12||0||57.7%||117||21||0|
|1.4||St. Thomas University||58.6%||6.6||99||7||0||52.0%||97||8||0|
|1.5||Florida A&M University||51.9%||1.5||62||7||0||50.3%||56||18||0|
|1.2||Ave Maria School of Law||49.4%||-10.9||32||8||0||60.3%||36||2||0|
|1.2||Florida Coastal School of Law||46.6%||6.2||97||14||0||40.5%||108||13||0|