January 23, 2012
Preliminary post-graduation employment results for the University of Colorado Law School’s class of 2011 show an improved placement percentage over the results for the class of 2010. With five weeks remaining until the February 15th date used by the American Bar Association and others for measuring employment outcomes, more than 88% of the 176 members of the class of 2011 is employed. By contrast, nine months after graduation, 82.5% of the class of 2010 was employed and 80% of the class of 2009 had found jobs.
“The continued upward trajectory of employment is an encouraging sign,” Assistant Dean of Career Development Todd Rogers reported. “But we need to—and must—do better,” Rogers explained. “I am confident that the steps Dean Phil Weiser is taking will enable us to help our very talented students and alums—94% of whom pass the bar on the first try—find satisfying employment opportunities.”
Colorado Law’s Dean Phil Weiser has made employment outcomes a foremost priority of the school and has dedicated increased resources to the meaningful employment of all students and alumni. This commitment includes doubling the size of the Career Development Office, hiring a new assistant dean for career development and filling a new position of assistant dean for employer outreach and engagement. Additionally, to facilitate opportunities for Colorado Law students, the dean and senior administrators visited more than 100 employers and greatly expanded contact with employers throughout the nation over the last six months.
One important initiative put in place by Colorado Law during the fall of 2011 is an expanded post-graduate fellowship program designed to help recent graduates gain a significant amount (typically 500 hours) of meaningful work experience (e.g., research, legal analysis, writing, and in some cases, conducting trials), while also serving the judiciary and other government or non-profit entities and seeking more permanent employment. Currently, 19 class of 2011 graduates and a number of 2010 graduates are working in fellowship positions and 15 additional class of 2011 graduates who participated in the fellowship program have found permanent employment.
For the finalized employment data for the class of 2010 (nine months after graduation), 82.5% were employed (as of February 15, 2011). In particular, of the 183 members of the Colorado Law class of 2010, 151 were employed nine months after graduation, 27 were unemployed and 5 were unreachable.
91% of the 151 members of the 2010 class reporting employment have full time jobs, and 85% of those reporting employment secured long-term jobs (defined as a position that does not have a definite term of less than one year). 83% of the jobs require a law degree. An additional 11% have jobs in which a JD is a preferred qualification. 4% are considered non-professional jobs.
Of the 151 employed graduates from the class of 2010, 72 reported a salary. This represents 48% of employed graduates and 39% of all graduates. We do not know if the reported salary information is representative of the unreported salary information. The median salary was $56,000 and the mean was $70,709. 25% of the graduates reporting salary data earn $80,000 or more per year, and 25% of the graduates reporting salaries earn less than $50,000 per year. With respect to salaries, we note that our public service-focused programs, including criminal defense, are strong, and many of our alumni enthusiastically serve in offices such as the Office of the Public Defender, which currently pays less than $50,000 per year to recent law school graduates. The Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) is available for some graduates working in public service jobs, such as the Office of the Public Defender, and the program awarded an average of $7,200 to five graduates during the 2010-2011 academic year.
74 of the 151 employed graduates in the class of 2010 (49%) were working for law firms in private practice nine months after graduation, and 72% of these law firm jobs were in law offices of 50 or fewer attorneys.
26 members of the 151 employed graduates (17%) accepted judicial clerkships. Three of these were federal court clerkships, 12 were state appellate court clerkships, and 11 were state trial court clerkships. 12% were working for government, and another 5% were in public interest positions such as with public defender offices.
Finally, 22 of the 151 employed graduates accepted positions with businesses other than law firms. This nearly 15% of the class was with for a variety of employers nine months after graduation, including Liberty Media, Deloitte Consulting, Crocs, Zayo Group and Grooveshark.
To view more detailed information about the employment outcomes and reported salaries of the class of 2010, click here.