In April 2016, Colorado Law reported post-graduation employment data for its class of 2015 to the American Bar Association (ABA) and the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). A detailed description of the employment outcomes and salaries for the class of 2015 appears below.
You may review a summary of the employment outcomes of the class of 2015 by clicking on "Class of 2015 ABA Employment Summary" to the right. The “Class of 2015 NALP Employment Summary” will be uploaded later this summer.
Of the 159 graduates in the Colorado Law class of 2015, 96 percent (152 graduates) reported employment ten months after graduation (March 15, 2016) (#16 nationally):
Post-graduate employment information for the Colorado Law class of 2015 was reported to the ABA and NALP in April 2016 and will be reported to U.S. News in December 2016 (outcomes as of ten months after graduation):
* Seven of the 152 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 (one graduate), and those from whom no employment status could be determined (one graduate).
97 / 159 = 61.0 % employed at graduation
152 / 159 = 95.6 % employed ten months after graduation
On March 10, 2016 U.S. News & World Report released its current law school rankings, which include employment statistics from the class of 2014. For both the “employed at graduation” and “employed ten 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, 55.3 percent (88/159) of our 2015 graduates had full-time, long-term jobs at graduation for which bar passage was required or a JD degree was an advantage. This compares to 50.3 percent in the class of 2014 and 48.9 percent in the class of 2013.
Of our 2015 graduates 83.6 percent (133/159) had full-time, long-term jobs ten months after graduation for which bar passage was required, or a JD degree was an advantage. This compares to 78.8 percent in the class of 2014 and 78.4 percent in the class of 2013.
The timing of Colorado Law students accepting post-graduate employment has followed a distinct pattern over the last three 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.
Below are the percentages of students known to be employed on each of the following dates. Four of the class of 2015 graduates who were seeking permanent employment as of March 15, 2016 secured full-time, long term positions by May 2, 2016 bringing the percentage of those employed in full time law or law-related jobs lasting one year or more to 86%.
Thirty percent of 2015 employed graduates (44/152) are working for law firms in private practice ten months after graduation, with 93 percent of these graduates in full-time, long-term positions. Thirteen graduates reported employment at National Law Journal 350 law firms ten months after graduation while another six will join NLJ 350 firms after their judicial clerkships.
Twenty percent of 2015 employed graduates (32/152) accepted judicial clerkships, which includes 6 federal court clerkships, 11 state appellate court clerkships, 14 state trial court clerkships, and 1 tribal court clerkship. This result ranked #18 nationally for percentage of graduates accepting full-time clerkships lasting one year or more. Five of the 7 post-graduate fellows were employed with judges, so there were 37 graduates working with judges ten months after graduation.
Excluding fellows receiving school funding, 14 percent of employed graduates (21/152) are working in government, and another 14 percent (21/152) 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, five months after graduation.
Finally, 14 percent of 2015 employed graduates (21/152) accepted positions with businesses other than law firms including Ball Corporation, Blackrock, Davita, DISH Network, Molson Coors, Shareholder Representative Services, ShipCompliant, Webroot, and Woodward Inc.
Of the 152 employed graduates from the class of 2015, 141 reported a salary. This represents 93 percent of employed graduates. These salaries represent 130 long-term jobs and 11 short-term jobs. One hundred and thirty of the positions are full-time, and 11 are part-time.
To maintain consistency with the 2015 NALP employment report, below we report only salaries from full-time, long-term positions held by members of the class of 2015 as of March 15, 2016. We received salaries from 95% of graduates employed in full-time, long-term positions (127 salaries).
The median salary reported was $55,000 and the mean was $65,550. Twenty-five percent of the graduates reporting salaries earn $72,500 or more per year, and 25 percent of the graduates reporting salaries earn $50,828 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 42 qualified applicants with $6,500 awards during the 2015-16 academic year.
The following charts provide detailed information about the employment outcomes for the Colorado Law class of 2015, including the number of graduates working in the private sector versus the public sector, the employment categories in which graduates were working ten months after graduation and finally, the number of graduates working in positions that require a law degree.
The salary statistics below may not match the 2015 NALP report due to reporting classification differences between ABA and NALP.
Six of the 9 graduates in the public sector reporting part-time/short-term employment are employed as post-graduate public service fellows.
*These public/private statistics do not match the 2015 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.
Five of the 7 post-graduate part-time fellows are employed with judges, 1 is with a government agency, and 1 is with a public interest organization.
“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-six of the 132 graduates reporting employment in the Mountain region were employed in Colorado, representing 83 percent of employed graduates.
(duplicate employers have been removed)