Colorado Law released its class of 2012 post-graduation employment numbers this week, providing detailed employment and salary information for last year’s class. Some statistics include:
Colorado Law received a perfect score from Law School Transparency, a nonprofit legal education policy organization, for reporting employment outcomes for the class of 2011. In addition to complying with the American Bar Association’s minimum reporting standards for employment outcomes, Colorado Law was one of only 35 law schools to provide all ten voluntary employment disclosures.
The school has continued that commitment to transparency in the employment outcomes for the class of 2012.
“Our employment and salary reporting for the class of 2012 mirrors our disclosures for the 2011 class, which garnered Colorado Law a perfect score for transparency in reporting,” said Todd Rogers, Assistant Dean for Career Development.
Of the 158 reporting employed graduates:
“We are delighted with the wide array of opportunities pursued by our class of 2012 graduates,” reported Dean Phil Weiser. “With a Colorado Law education, graduates can thrive in a range of positions and we are committed to supporting our graduates’ careers in a dynamic environment.”
More than 15 percent of employed graduates reported working in a government position, while 12 percent reported working in public interest positions.
The median salary for public sector positions was $50,000, which does not include Colorado Law’s financial support through the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). Public service careers, including criminal defense, are popular among Colorado Law alumni and the school supports students in their commitment to public service through the LRAP program.
“Many of our graduates go into public sector work,” Rogers said. “These are great opportunities and we want our students to be able to take advantage of them.”
When looking for a public service position, Chester Fernandez (’12), a public defender with the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services, recommends being diligent.
“I applied for several dozen jobs and got a handful of interviews,” Fernandez said. “For every job I applied for, I found out if Colorado Law had any alumni that worked with the employer or had interviewed with them.”
Fernandez also advises following up after sending applications.
“I don’t think it’s any coincidence that I got an interview the day after I followed up on my application status and got a job offer the day after I followed up as well,” Fernandez said. “Persistence pays off.”
More than 17 percent of employed graduates accepted judicial clerkships. These included three federal clerkships, 12 state appellate court clerkships, and 12 state trial court clerkships. Seven post-graduate fellows were also employed with judges.
With at least seven judges currently teaching courses at Colorado Law, students have exceptional opportunities to meet and connect with local judges.
“Colorado Law provided me access to judges at the State Court of Appeals, State Supreme Court, and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals,” Fernandez said.
More than 8 percent of employed graduates of the class of 2012 chose to pursue positions in business, in-house roles, and alternative jobs outside a traditional law practice.
“Colorado Law students are well-suited for careers in business and entrepreneurship,” Rogers said. “For example, from the class of 2012 we have graduates working at AMG National Trust Bank, Boulder Brands, Deloitte Tax, MWH Global, and SolidFire.”
Still accounting for the largest employment segment, 35 percent of employed graduates of the class of 2012 were working for law firms in private practice with 29 percent in long-term, full-time positions. Of these, the median salary reported was $70,000.
When looking to enter private practice, Sadie Sullivan (’12), a health law attorney at Miles & Peters, stressed the importance of connecting with members of the legal community as part of a student’s job search.
“I started my professional network by first identifying health lawyers in Denver and then meeting with them informally over lunch or coffee,” Sullivan said. “They helped me get internships and still give me advice on being a first year associate.”
Kendria Pearson (’12), a first year associate at Sheridan Ross, echoed the importance of networking.
“I did a great deal of networking during my time at the law school,” Pearson said. “It was slow-going at first, but after a few nerve-wracking first networking events, I realized that networking was about more than just getting my name out there—its about meeting people and finding out about them.”
Pearson and Sullivan both emphasized the importance of obtaining practical experience to boost a student’s resume and job search.
“Not only did my externships help me expand my professional network, but they also provided me with valuable insight into how hospitals operate or how a federal agency conducts its HIPAA investigations,” Sullivan said. “Such insight made me a more attractive applicant when it came time to apply for associate positions.”
“We’re continuing to build strong and lasting partnerships with a wide variety of employers who value the research, writing, and analytical skills that graduates of Colorado Law possess,” said Rogers.
Dean Phil Weiser echoes Rogers’ comments, citing the Colorado Law community as a large part of its success.
“We have outstanding alumni and friends in the community,” Weiser said. “Our ability to work with them is going to elevate what we can do.”