Visualizing legal employment outcomes in New York in 2018

This is the seventh in a series of visualizations on legal employment outcomes for the Class of 2018. Following posts on outcomes in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, Florida, and DC-Maryland-Virginia, here is a visualization for legal employment outcomes of graduates of law schools in New York for the Class of 2018. (More about the methodology is available at the Illinois post.) Last year's New York post is here.

Please note, of course, that “J.D.-advantage” jobs may differ significantly from school to school, which may alter how one views the “overall” rate. (USNWR treats them as equivalent, but there are good reasons to think they may not be equivalent; and here, there are significant disparities among some schools and their J.D.-advantage placement.) And recall that I sort the table below to include school-funded positions, while the chart only includes unfunded positions. (It’s a reason I try to display the information in different ways!) The market showed improvement for the Class of 2018. Bar passage-required jobs rose from 2786 to 2882; J.D.-advantage rose slightly and school funded positions fell slightly. And while total graduates increased slightly to 3689, the improvement in bar passage-required positions helped increase placement from 84.5% to 86.1%.

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

Peer score School 2018 YoY% BPR JDA LSF Grads 2017 BPR JDA LSF Grads
4.6 New York University 96.7% -0.4 411 3 29 458 97.1% 429 11 30 484
4.7 Columbia University 96.4% 0.1 420 8 5 449 96.3% 401 2 13 432
4.3 Cornell University 93.4% -0.2 178 4 1 196 93.6% 186 2 1 202
2.3 St. John's University 91.6% 9.8 186 21 0 226 81.8% 154 21 0 214
3.3 Fordham University 88.4% 10.8 302 24 2 371 77.7% 245 23 3 349
2.8 Cardozo School of Law 84.9% -2.1 207 23 1 272 87.0% 234 20 0 292
2.2 Hofstra University 82.4% 1.4 186 11 0 239 81.0% 180 12 0 237
1.9 New York Law School 81.0% 6.7 167 52 2 273 74.3% 123 56 0 241
2.6 Brooklyn Law School 80.5% 0.3 245 48 0 364 80.2% 264 31 0 368
1.9 Pace University 79.5% -5.2 118 14 0 166 84.7% 127 17 0 170
2.0 Albany Law School 79.0% -1.0 86 8 0 119 80.0% 78 10 0 110
2.2 University of Buffalo-SUNY 78.1% 7.0 101 13 0 146 71.1% 93 15 0 152
2.3 Syracuse University 76.3% -2.9 116 16 0 173 79.2% 103 15 0 149
2.2 City University of New York 74.0% 2.7 64 7 0 96 71.3% 65 2 0 94
1.5 Touro College 70.2% -5.0 95 4 0 141 75.2% 104 11 0 153

Visualizing legal employment outcomes in DC-Maryland-Virginia in 2018

This is the sixth in a series of visualizations on legal employment outcomes for the Class of 2018. Following posts on outcomes in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, and Florida, here is a visualization for legal employment outcomes of graduates of law schools in Washington, DC; Maryland; and Virginia for the Class of 2018. (More about the methodology is available at the Illinois post.) Last year's DC-Maryland-Virginia post is here.

Please note, of course, that “J.D.-advantage” jobs may differ significantly from school to school, which may alter how one views the “overall” rate. And recall that I sort the table below to include school-funded positions, while the chart only includes unfunded positions. (It’s a reason I try to display the information in different ways!) The market showed improvement for the Class of 2018. Bar passage-required jobs rose from 2318 to 2367; J.D.-advantage and school funded positions both fell slightly. There were more than 100 fewer graduates in this class, helping raise the overal employment rate from 80.3% to 83.9%. (Of note are four schools with fewer than 70 graduates each.)

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

Peer score School 2018 YoY% BPR JDA LSF Grads 2017 BPR JDA LSF Grads
4.4 University of Virginia 97.7% 1.0 277 3 12 299 96.6% 271 7 8 296
4.2 Georgetown University 91.2% 2.2 532 28 33 650 89.0% 504 40 40 656
3 University of Maryland 88.9% 11.1 138 37 1 198 77.8% 108 36 3 189
3.3 William & Mary Law School 88.2% 7.5 149 16 0 187 80.8% 158 10 0 208
3.2 Washington & Lee University 87.6% 3.8 98 1 0 113 83.8% 79 4 0 99
3.5 George Washington University 84.0% 1.4 376 58 3 520 82.6% 422 69 9 605
2.7 George Mason University 83.9% 3.0 90 22 3 137 80.9% 92 26 5 152
2.7 University of Richmond 81.2% -0.7 118 29 0 181 81.9% 101 21 0 149
1.2 Liberty University 80.0% 11.0 32 4 0 45 69.0% 37 3 0 58
1.2 Regent University 77.3% 2.9 45 5 1 66 74.4% 46 10 2 78
2.1 University of Baltimore 77.0% 4.2 136 21 0 204 72.8% 136 27 0 224
2.6 Howard University 73.7% 3.8 80 17 1 133 69.9% 65 6 1 103
2.8 American University 73.6% 5.6 201 69 3 371 68.0% 197 56 0 372
1.5 District of Columbia 70.1% 4.0 26 20 1 67 66.2% 19 27 1 71
2.1 Catholic University of America 68.0% 4.1 56 10 0 97 64.0% 61 10 0 111
1.2 Appalachian School of Law 51.7% -7.8 13 2 0 29 59.5% 22 3 0 42

Visualizing legal employment outcomes in Florida in 2018

This is the fifth in a series of visualizations on legal employment outcomes for the Class of 2018. Following posts on outcomes in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Ohio, here is a visualization for legal employment outcomes of graduates of Florida law schools for the Class of 2018. (More about the methodology is available at the Illinois post.) Last year's Florida post is here.

The Florida report is one of the most positive employment reports so far. Total bar passage-require jobs rose significantly, from 1364 in 2017 to 1430 in 2018. A small uptick in J.D.-advantage placement and a small drop in total graduates resulted in an improvement for placement from 69.8% to 74.5%, which brings placement more in line with others states.

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

Peer Score School 2018 YoY% BPR JDA LSF Grads 2017 BPR JDA LSF Grads
3.3 University of Florida 88.4% 2.0 258 24 1 320 86.4% 246 33 1 324
3.1 Florida State University 85.8% 5.5 150 18 1 197 80.3% 150 21 0 213
2.8 University of Miami 84.3% 1.6 249 36 0 338 82.7% 195 20 0 260
2.1 Stetson University 83.3% 6.1 168 21 0 227 77.2% 167 36 0 263
2.1 Florida International University 82.9% 2.2 109 12 0 146 80.6% 112 13 0 155
1.2 Barry University 67.9% 6.2 91 38 0 190 61.7% 75 25 0 162
1.2 Ave Maria School of Law 65.7% 16.3 39 7 0 70 49.4% 32 8 0 81
1.5 St. Thomas University 64.3% 5.7 111 6 0 182 58.6% 99 7 0 181
1.2 Florida Coastal School of Law 60.8% 14.1 94 19 0 186 46.6% 97 14 0 238
1.6 Nova Southeastern University 57.5% -4.9 109 17 0 219 62.4% 129 12 0 226
1.5 Florida A&M University 50.4% -1.5 52 14 0 131 51.9% 62 7 0 133

Visualizing legal employment outcomes in Ohio in 2018

This is the fourth in a series of visualizations on legal employment outcomes for the Class of 2018. Following posts on outcomes in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas, here is a visualization for legal employment outcomes of graduates of Ohio law schools for the Class of 2018. (More about the methodology is available at the Illinois post.) Last year's Ohio post is here.

Total jobs, including bar passage-required jobs, worsened slightly. Those bar passage-required jobs dropped from 584 to 571. But total graduates continued to tumble, from 951 to 888, leaving overall placement up a few points, from 72.8% to 76%. Remarkably, Ohio still has nine law schools, but five of them graduated fewer than 100 students, and sixth graduated just 101.

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

Peer Score School 2018 YoY% BPR JDA LSF Grads 2017 BPR JDA LSF Grads
3.3 Ohio State University 89.9% 1.4 134 14 3 168 88.5% 126 16 4 165
1.8 Cleveland-Marshall College of Law 81.8% 16.9 65 7 0 88 65.0% 61 15 0 117
2.4 University of Cincinnati 80.0% 0.0 58 14 0 90 80.0% 53 3 0 70
1.7 University of Dayton 75.6% 13.1 46 13 0 78 62.5% 48 12 0 96
1.9 University of Toledo 74.1% 4.4 31 12 0 58 69.7% 42 11 0 76
2.6 Case Western Reserve University 73.0% 2.0 83 9 0 126 71.0% 83 15 0 138
1.8 University of Akron 70.0% -1.7 65 19 0 120 71.7% 71 15 0 120
1.5 Ohio Northern University 67.8% -9.1 34 6 0 59 76.9% 37 3 0 52
1.4 Capital University 61.4% -4.4 55 7 0 101 65.8% 63 14 0 117

Visualizing legal employment outcomes in Texas in 2018

This is the third in a series of visualizations on legal employment outcomes for the Class of 2018. Following posts on outcomes in Illinois and Pennsylvania, here is a visualization for legal employment outcomes of graduates of Texas law schools for the Class of 2018. (More about the methodology is available at the Illinois post.) Last year's Texas post is here.

Total jobs improved notably in bar passage required jobs, from 1321 to 1366. J.D.-advantage jobs declined. Total graduates increased to 1979, up from 1959. Placement improved from 75.8% to 76.3%.

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

Peer Score School 2018 YoY% BPR JDA LSF Grads 2017 BPR JDA LSF Grads
4.1 University of Texas-Austin 92.8% 6.0 238 15 6 279 86.9% 259 18 7 327
2.4 Baylor University 89.0% 2.8 100 5 0 118 86.2% 107 4 1 130
2.7 Southern Methodist University 87.1% 4.0 192 17 0 240 83.1% 179 17 0 236
1.9 Texas Tech University 85.8% 7.6 125 8 0 155 78.2% 137 17 0 197
2.7 University of Houston 85.4% 7.9 171 22 0 226 77.5% 153 26 0 231
2.4 Texas A&M University 81.9% 7.6 93 20 0 138 74.3% 118 18 0 183
1.6 South Texas College of Law Houston 67.8% 6.0 160 24 1 273 61.7% 157 27 0 298
1.6 St. Mary's University 62.5% -8.4 129 11 0 224 70.9% 118 20 1 196
nr University of North Texas Dallas 57.9% 6.4 76 8 0 145 51.5% 17 0 0 33
1.4 Texas Southern University 48.6% -17.0 82 6 0 181 65.6% 76 8 0 128

Visualizing legal employment outcomes in Pennsylvania in 2018

This is the second in a series of visualizations on legal employment outcomes for the Class of 2018. Following a post on outcomes in Illinois, here is a visualization for legal employment outcomes of graduates of Pennsylvania law schools for the Class of 2018. (More about the methodology is available at the Illinois post.) Last year's Pennsylvania post is here.

Total graduates were down slightly year-over-year, and the job picture improved a little, with 84.4% employed in bar passage required and J.D. advantage positions, including 11 school-funded positions. Total placement fell slightly, so the improvement is attributable to the slightly smaller number of graduates, from 1256 to 1238.

As always, please notify me of any corrections or errata. UPDATE: Duquesne’s employment data was accidentally overstated in an earlier post and has been edited to present the accurate data.

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Peer Score School 2018 YoY% BPR JDA LSF Grads 2017 BPR JDA LSF Grads
4.4 University of Pennsylvania 97.9% -0.9 216 12 10 243 98.8% 232 16 5 256
2.5 Villanova University 88.2% 5.8 127 15 0 161 82.4% 120 11 0 159
2.2 Pennsylvania State - Dickinson Law 87.3% 8.6 51 4 0 63 78.7% 41 7 0 61
2.1 Drexel University 83.7% 2.3 95 13 0 129 81.5% 88 13 0 124
2.7 Temple University 83.3% -3.4 161 13 0 209 86.6% 172 15 1 217
1.8 Duquesne University 80.0% 0.6 86 13 0 120 79.4% 80 20 0 126
2.3 Penn State Law 80.0% 1.9 86 13 1 125 78.1% 82 7 0 114
2.7 University of Pittsburgh 71.9% -5.7 85 12 0 135 77.5% 87 20 0 138
1.7 Widener Commonwealth 62.3% -4.9 32 1 0 53 67.2% 36 5 0 61

Visualizing legal employment outcomes in Illinois in 2018

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 2018. The U.S. News & World Report ("USNWR") rankings recently released, which include data for the Class of 2017, 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 jobs excluding positions funded by the law school or university that are full-time, long-term and for which a J.D. and bar passage are necessary or advantageous ." It does not give "full weight" in its metrics 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 actually as valuable as bar passage required jobs. (Some have further critiqued solo practitioners being included in the bar passage required statistics.) Nonetheless, as a top-level category, I looked at these “full weight” positions.

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 2017 and 2018, with relative overall changes year-over-year. Here, I used the employment rate including school-funded positions, which USNWR used to print but no longer does; nevertheless, because there are good-faith disputes, I think, about the value of school-funded positions, I split the difference—I excluded them in the sorting of the bar graphs, and included them comparatively in the tables. 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"). This year, I also added the total graduates. (My visualization is limited because the bar widths for each school are the same, even though schools vary greatly in size, and that means raw placement might be more impressive considering class size.)

The first state is Illinois (last year's visualization here). There were 1696 statewide grades, a 3% decline over last year's class. The total placement rate among the graduates was 82% (including a few school-funded jobs). It is, once again, a slight improvement over last year driven by the smaller class size. Placement in bar passage required jobs fell slightly again.

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 2018 YoY% BPR JDA LSF Grads 2017 BPR JDA LSF Grads
4.7 University of Chicago 98.1% 0.4 188 4 10 206 97.7% 197 4 8 214
4.2 Northwestern University (Pritzker) 96.9% 3.0 205 12 5 229 94.0% 204 24 5 248
3.2 University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign 91.9% 5.3 118 19 0 149 86.6% 111 12 0 142
2.6 Loyola University Chicago 85.5% 8.0 119 46 0 193 77.5% 138 34 0 222
2.6 Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago-Kent) 81.0% 7.0 149 39 0 232 74.0% 133 32 0 223
2.2 DePaul University 73.5% 3.9 126 40 0 226 69.6% 126 34 0 230
1.7 The John Marshall Law School 67.5% -4.1 151 33 1 274 71.6% 161 43 0 285
1.6 Southern Illinois University-Carbondale 67.3% 8.7 63 11 0 110 58.6% 64 4 0 116
1.6 Northern Illinois University 66.2% -10.9 43 8 0 77 77.1% 42 11 1 70

February 2019 MBE bar scores bounce back from all-time lows

After cratering to all-time record lows last year, scores on the February administration of the Multistate Bar Exam have bounced back. It’s good news, but modest—the rise returns to scores from February 2017, which were at that time the lowest in history. Scores have now bounced back to match the second-lowest total in history… which is slightly better.

To be fair (which is not to say I’ve been unfair!), part of this overall score is likely driven by the Uniform Bar Exam. It used to be that there were more test-takers who’d passed a previous bar exam and would have to take another test in another jurisdiction. Those who’d already passed were likely to score quite well on a second attempt on a new bar. But the National Conference of Bar Examiners has indicated that the rise of the UBE has dropped the number of people taking a second bar, which in turns drops the number of high scorers, which in turn drops the MBE scores. So the drop in the MBE scores itself isn’t entirely a cause of alarm. It’s a reflection that the UBE is reducing the number of bar test-takers by some small figure each year.

We now know the mean scaled national February MBE score was 134.0, up 1.8 points from last year's 132.8. We would expect bar exam passing rates to rise in most jurisdictions. Just as repeaters caused most of the drop last time, they are causing most of the rise this time. Repeaters’ scores simply appear to be more volatile as a cohort of test takers.

A couple of visualizations are below, long-term and short-term trends.

For perspective, California's "cut score" is 144, Virginia's 140, Texas's 135, and New York's 133. The trend is more pronounced when looking at a more recent window of scores.

The first major drop in bar exam scores was revealed to law schools in late fall 2014. That means the 2014-2015 applicant cycle, to the extent schools took heed of the warning, was a time for them to improve the quality of their incoming classes, leading to some expected improvement for the class graduating in May of 2018. But bar pass rates were historically low in July 2018. It’s not clear that law schools have properly adapted even after five years.

Until then, we wait and see for the July 2019 exam. For more, see Karen Sloan over at NLJ.