In March 2014, Colorado Law reported post-graduation employment data for its class of 2013 to the American Bar Association (ABA) and the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). A detailed description of the employment outcomes and salaries of the class of 2013 appears below.
Of the 176 graduates in the Colorado Law class of 2013, 90 percent (159 graduates) reported employment nine months after graduation (February 15, 2014):
The timing of Colorado Law students accepting post-graduate employment has followed a distinct pattern over the last two years. By spring break, about one-third of students had reported a post-graduate position. By graduation, approximately half of graduates were employed. While some graduates found positions over the summer, it was more common for graduates to report accepting jobs in September and October.
By mid-December of the last two years, approximately 90 percent of our graduates had found jobs. Below are the percentages of students known to be employed on each of the following dates. Note that subsequent surveys revealed a higher percentage of graduates to be employed than we knew of at graduation.
Percentage of class of 2013 known to have accepted a post-graduate job
Post-graduate employment information for the Colorado Law class of 2013 was reported to the ABA and NALP in March 2014 and will be reported to U.S. News in December 2014 (outcomes as of nine months after graduation):
* Eleven of the 159 employed graduates working for judges and other public service roles are receiving funding from Colorado Law's post-graduate public service fellowship program.
Consistent with transparency in reporting, we calculate overall employment percentages by dividing the number of employed graduates by the total number of graduates. This calculation's denominator includes graduates who are not seeking employment (three graduates), and those from whom no employment status could be determined (two graduates).
102 / 176 = 58.0 % employed at graduation
159 / 176 = 90.3 % employed nine months after graduation
On March 11, 2014 U.S. News & World Report released its 2015 law school rankings, which include employment statistics from the class of 2012. For both the “employed at graduation” and “employed nine months after graduation” categories, U.S. News counted only those graduates who had a full-time job lasting at least one year for which bar passage was required, or a JD degree was an advantage.
Utilizing the U.S. News formula, 48.9 percent (86/176) of our 2013 graduates had a full-time, long-term job at graduation for which bar passage was required or a JD degree was an advantage. This compares to 41.7 percent in the class of 2012 and 33.5 percent in the class of 2011.
Of our 2013 graduates 78.4 percent (138/176) had full-time, long-term jobs nine months after graduation for which bar passage was required, or a JD degree was an advantage. This compares to 64.0 percent in the class of 2012 and 64.2 percent in the class of 2011.
Thirty-two percent of 2013 employed graduates (51/159) are working for law firms in private practice nine months after graduation, with 94 percent of these graduates in full-time, long-term positions. Eighteen graduates reported employment at National Law Journal 350 law firms.
Fifteen percent of 2013 employed graduates (24/159) accepted judicial clerkships, which includes one federal court clerkship, 11 state appellate court clerkships, and 12 state trial court clerkships. Six of the 11 post-graduate fellows were employed with judges, so there were 30 graduates working with judges nine months after graduation.
Excluding fellows receiving school funding, 15 percent of employed graduates are working for government, and another 14 percent are in public interest positions, including public defender offices and non-profit organizations. Offers for some government and public interest positions, such as those with district attorney offices and city attorney offices, are typically made after graduates pass the bar exam, months after graduation.
Finally, 13 percent of 2013 employed graduates (20/159) accepted positions with businesses other than law firms including AMG National Bank, Ball Corporation, DISH Network, D.O.G. Development, Ernst & Young, and Woodspear Properties.
Of the 159 employed graduates from the class of 2013, 127 reported a salary. This represents 80 percent of employed graduates and 72 percent of all graduates. These salaries represent 124 long-term jobs and 3 short-term jobs. One hundred and twenty-five of the positions are full-time, and 2 are part-time.
To maintain consistency with the June 2014 NALP employment report, below we report only salaries from full-time, long-term positions held by members of the class of 2013 as of February 15, 2014 (124 salaries).
The median salary reported was $55,608 and the mean was $66,318. Twenty-five percent of the graduates reporting salaries earn $72,000 or more per year, and 25 percent of the graduates reporting salaries earn $50,000 or less per year.
With respect to salaries, our public service-focused programs, including criminal defense, are strong. The Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) is available for many graduates working in public service jobs, and the program awarded each of the 25 qualified applicants with $6,500 awards during the 2013-14 academic year.
The following charts provide detailed information about the employment outcomes for the Colorado Law class of 2013, including the number of graduates working in the private sector versus the public sector, the employment categories in which graduates were working nine months after graduation and finally, the number of graduates working in positions that require a law degree.
Each chart contains information about the number of graduates who reported employment, whether that employment was long or short-term (long-term defined as a position that does not have a definite term of less than one year), full or part-time and the relevant salary data.
Seven of the 9 graduates in the public sector reporting short-term/part-time employment are employed as post-graduate public service fellows.
*These public/private statistics do not match the 2013 NALP report. NALP classifies all academic and public interest positions as public sector, while Colorado Law classifies some academic and public interest positions as private (e.g. Western Watersheds Project).
Six of the 11 post-graduate part-time fellows are employed with judges and 5 with government agencies.
“Bar Required” jobs require that the graduate pass the bar and be licensed to practice law. These jobs may be in a law firm, business, government, or non-profit setting. This category also includes judicial clerks and positions that require the graduate to pass the bar after being hired.
“JD Advantage” jobs include those for which the employer sought an individual with a JD, and perhaps even required a JD, but the job itself does not require bar passage, an active law license or involve practicing law.
An "Other Professional" position is one that requires professional skills or training but in which a JD is neither required nor particularly applicable, such as accountant, teacher, business manager, nurse, etc.
A "Nonprofessional" position is one that does not require any special professional skills or training.
One hundred and twenty-five of the 133 graduates reporting employment in the Mountain region were employed in Colorado, representing 79 percent of employed graduates.
(duplicate employers have been removed)