In April 2017, Colorado Law reported post-graduation employment data for its class of 2016 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 2016 appears below.

You may review the class of 2016 ABA employment summary here and the NALP Employment Summary here.

How Many Graduates from the Class of 2016 Are Employed?

Of the 184 graduates in the Colorado Law class of 2016, 89 percent (164 graduates) reported employment ten months after graduation (March 15, 2017):

  • 76% (139/184) of graduates reported a full-time, long-term (defined as a position that does not have a definite term of less than one year) job for which bar passage was required or a JD degree was an advantage.
  • 69% (126/184) of graduates reported a full-time, long-term job for which bar passage was required.
  • 80% (148/184) reported full time jobs. This represents 90% of employed graduates.
  • 78% (143/184) reported long-term jobs. Post-graduate fellowships with judges and government agencies are not considered long-term jobs, although they regularly lead to such positions.

Five members of the class of 2016 reported accepting jobs before March 15, but did not start their employment until April 3. In accordance with ABA and NALP rules, none of the five are counted as employed. Adding them to our current job totals, along with a sixth graduate who accepted a job in early April, brings the percentage of those employed in full-time law or law-related jobs that last one year or more to 79%, and overall employment to 92% as of April 15, 2017.

Employment Outcomes

Post-graduate employment information for the Colorado Law class of 2016 was reported to the ABA and NALP in April 2017 and will be reported to U.S. News in December 2017 (outcomes as of ten months after graduation, March 15, 2017):

  • Employed = 164*
  • Accepted a job before March 15 that starts after March 15 = 5
  • Working as a volunteer = 2
  • Unemployed and seeking employment = 6
  • Unemployed and not seeking employment = 1
  • Full-time student = 2
  • Unknown = 4

* Nine of the 164 employed graduates are receiving funding from Colorado Law's post-graduate public service fellowship program for work with judges, government agencies, and public interest organizations.

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 (four graduates).

100 / 184 = 54.3 % employed at graduation

164 / 184 = 89.1 % employed ten months after graduation

U.S. News Employment Statistics

On March 14, 2017 U.S. News & World Report released its current law school rankings, which include employment statistics from the class of 2015. For both the “employed at graduation” and “employed ten months after graduation” categories, U.S. News now counts only those graduates with non-law school/university-funded, full-time jobs that last at least one year for which bar passage was required, or a JD degree was an advantage. 

Utilizing the U.S. News formula, 52.2 percent (96/184) of our 2016 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 53.5 percent in the class of 2015 and 50.3 percent in the class of 2014. 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.

Of our 2016 graduates 73.4 percent (135/184) 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 81.1 percent in the class of 2015 and 78.8 percent in the class of 2014.

Timing of Post-Graduate Jobs

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 three 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.
April 1, 2016 41%
April 15 45%
May 1 50%
May 15 51%
June 1 53%
June 15 57%
July 1 56%
July 15 59%
August 1 62%
August 15 63%
September 1 66%
September 15 71%
October 1 76%
October 15 78%
November 1 82%
November 15 83%
December 1 84%
December 15 89%
January 1, 2017 89%
January 15 89%
February 1 89%
February 15 92%
March 1 93%
March 15 89%

Employment Categories

Thirty-seven percent of employed 2016 graduates (60/164) are working for law firms in private practice ten months after graduation, with 88 percent of these graduates in full-time, long-term positions. Twenty-two of these 2016 graduates reported employment at National Law Journal 500 law firms ten months after graduation while another five will join NLJ 500 firms after their judicial clerkships. These twenty seven graduates account for 17% of all employed 2016 graduates, compared to 13% for the class of 2015.

Thirteen percent of employed 2016 graduates (22/164) accepted judicial clerkships, which includes 3 federal court clerkships, 8 state appellate court clerkships, and 11 state trial court clerkships.  Seven of the 9 post-graduate fellows were employed with judges, so there were 29 graduates working with judges ten months after graduation.

Excluding fellows receiving school funding, 16 percent of employed 2016 graduates (26/164) are working in government, and another 10 percent (16/164) are in public interest positions, including public defender offices and non-profit organizations. 

Finally, 15 percent of employed 2016 graduates (25/164) accepted positions with businesses other than law firms including Ardent Mills, Century Health, DISH Network, Elevate Services, Molson Coors, and VMWare.


Of the 164 employed graduates from the class of 2016, 160 reported a salary.  This represents 98 percent of employed graduates. These salaries represent 139 long-term jobs and 21 short-term jobs.  One hundred and forty-five of the positions are full-time, and 15 are part-time.

To maintain consistency with the 2016 NALP employment report, below we report only salaries from full-time, long-term positions held by members of the class of 2016 as of March 15, 2017. We received salaries from 98% of graduates employed in full-time, long-term positions (136 salaries).

The median salary reported was $60,000 and the mean was $70,894.  Twenty-five percent of the graduates reporting salaries earn $80,000 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 48 qualified applicants with $5,500 awards during the 2016-17 academic year.

Statistical Summary

The following charts provide detailed information about the employment outcomes for the Colorado Law class of 2016, 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.

Salary Summary by Employment Sector

Sector # Reporting Full/ Part Time Long/ Short Term # FT/LT Employed Reporting Salary % FT/LT Employed Reporting Salary Median Mean 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
Private Sector 85 78/7 75/10 69 97% $80,000 $87,431 $62,400 $116,000
79 70/9 68/11 67 99% $53,000 $53,863 $45,000 $57,276

The 9 graduates in the public sector reporting part-time/short-term employment are employed as post-graduate public service fellows.

Salary Summary by Employment Category

Category # Reporting Full/ Part Time Long/ Short Term # FT/LT Employed Reporting Salary % FT/LT Employed Reporting Salary Median Mean 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
Business 25 22/3 19/6 17 94% $75,000 $72,294 $65,000 $78,000
Judicial Clerk 29 22/7 22/7 22 100% $46,257 $48,841 $53,000 $53,000
Private Practice 60 56/4 56/4 52 98% $86,244 $92,380 $59,300 $120,000
Government 27 26/1 25/2 24 96% $57,500 $58,230 $26,997 $63,691
Public Interest 17 16/1 15/2 15 100% $57,276 $56,717 $57,138 $57,276
Academic 6 6/0 6/0 6 100% $47,750 $47,667 $45,625 $49,500

Seven of the 9 post-graduate part-time fellows are employed with judges, 1 is with a government agency, and 1 is with a public interest organization.

Salary Summary by Employment Type

Type # Reporting Full/ Part Time Long/ Short Term # FT/LT Reporting Salary % FT/LT Reporting Salary Median Mean 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
Bar Required 139 129/10 129/10 125 99% $55,600 $66,640 $51,109 $76,000
JD Advantage 19 16/3 13/6 11 85% $52,800 $58,904 $50,328 $67,500
Other Professional 3 3/0 0/3 - - - - - -
Non-Professional 3 0/3 1/2 - - - - - -

“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 "Non-Professional" position is one that does not require any special professional skills or training.

Employment Summary by Location

Region # Student Reported % of Reported
New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) 2 1.2%
Mid-Atlantic (NJ, NY, PA) 0 -
North East Central (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) 0 -
North West Central (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD) 1 0.6%
South Atlantic (DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV) 6 3.7%
South East Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) 1 0.6%
South West Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) 7 4.3%
Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY) 137 83.5%
Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) 9 5.5%
Foreign 1 0.6%
Unknown 0 -

One hundred and thirty-three of the 137 graduates reporting employment in the Mountain region were employed in Colorado, representing 81 percent of employed graduates.

Post-Graduate Employers of the Colorado Law Class of 2016

(Duplicate employers have been removed. Out of state employers have been marked.)

  • 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office
  • 7th Judicial District Attorney's Office (NM)
  • 12th Judicial District Court
  • 15th Judicial District Attorney's Office
  • 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office
  • 20th Judicial District Attorney's Office
  • Ackerman, LLP
  • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (TX)
  • Anchorage Superior Court (AK)
  • Aqyre Energy
  • Archer Law Firm
  • Ardent Mills
  • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (TX)
  • Astrella Law P.C.
  • Bagley Law Firm, LLC
  • Ballard Spahr LLP
  • Beam & Raymond
  • Bendinelli Law Firm, P.C.
  • Berg Hill Greenleaf Ruscitti, LLP
  • Bettenberg, Sharshel & Maguire LLC
  • Bjornson Law Offices (MT)
  • Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
  • Bryan Cave LLP
  • Burns Figa & Will
  • Caldwell Hathcoat LLC
  • Centura Health
  • Cherry Creek Benefits
  • Chief Justice Rice, Colorado Supreme Court
  • Colorado Counties, Inc.
  • Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
  • Colorado Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection
  • Colorado State Public Defender's Office
  • Connect for Health Colorado
  • Cooley
  • Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP
  • Denver City Attorney’s Office-Airport Legal Services
  • Denver City Attorney’s Office-Civil Litigation
  • Denver City Attorney’s Office-Litigation, Claims
  • Denver City Attorney’s Office-Litigation, Employment Law
  • Denver City Attorney’s Office-Prosecution and Code Enforcement
  • DISH Network
  • Edward Zorn Law Office
  • Elevate Services
  • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (GA)
  • Erise IP
  • Executive Office for Immigration Review, Denver Immigration Court
  • Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission
  • Fellows and Quenzer, LLC
  • Flatiron Holdings
  • Fox Rothschild LLP
  • Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
  • Galveston County District Attorney's Office (TX)
  • Georgetown University Law Center, Institute for Public Representation (DC)
  • Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Holland & Hart LLP
  • Husch Blackwell
  • Ibotta, Inc.
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (NH)
  • Jon Sirkis LLC
  • Judge Buchanan, 2nd Judicial District Court
  • Judge Daley, Colorado Court of Appeals
  • Judge Elliff, 2nd Judicial District Court
  • Judge Fox, Colorado Court of Appeals
  • Judge Goldberg, 2nd Judicial District Court
  • Judge Graham, Colorado Court of Appeals
  • Judge Hartman, 20th Judicial District Court
  • Judge House Moulton Brodsky, Boulder County Court
  • Judge Hunt, 1st Judicial District Court
  • Judge Lammons, 8th Judicial District Court
  • Judge Langer, 20th Judicial District Court
  • Judge Odell, 8th Judicial District Court
  • Judge Stuart, Oregon Judicial Department (OR)
  • Judge Taylor, 19th Judicial District Court
  • Judge Tighe, 1st Judicial District Court
  • Judge Vriesman, 1st Judicial District Court
  • Judge Whitney, 2nd Judicial District Court
  • Justice Boatright, Colorado Supreme Court
  • Justice Coats, Colorado Supreme Court
  • Justice Gabriel, Colorado Supreme Court
  • Justice Márquez, Colorado Supreme Court
  • Kingsbery CPAs
  • Koenig, Oelsner, Taylor, Schoenfeld & Gaddis PC
  • Layer3 TV, Inc.
  • Lee, Hong, Degerman, Kang & Waimey (CA)
  • Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
  • Lohf Shaiman Jacobs Hyman & Feiger PC
  • Magistrate Hegarty, U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • Magistrate Wang, U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • MaRS Studio Y (Canada)
  • Matthew Holleb, Solo Practitioner
  • McKinley Law Group, LLC
  • Modus Law, Ltd.
  • Molson Coors Brewing Company
  • Murr Siler & Accomazzo, P.C.
  • Music Evangelism Foundation
  • National Concessions Group, Inc.
  • National Labor Relations Board, Region 10 (GA)
  • NREL/Alliance for Sustainable Energy
  • Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC
  • Pearsall Law Firm, PLLC (TX)
  • Perkins Coie LLP
  • Ping Identity
  • Polsinelli
  • Polson Intellectual Property Law P.C.
  • Pulte Mortgage LLC
  • Radley & Southerland, LLC
  • Real Estate Consultants of Colorado, LLC
  • Rhodes Law, P.A. (FL)
  • Rise Broadband
  • Rocky Mountain PBS
  • Schafer Thomas Maez, PC
  • Sherman & Howard LLC
  • Silicon Flatirons Center
  • Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP (AK)
  • Stover & Spitz LLC
  • Techstars
  • The Meyer Law Office, PC
  • The Telecommunications Industry Association (DC)
  • ThinkTopic
  • Transportation Resource Services, Inc.
  • Trombly Business Law, PC
  • U.S. Army JAG Corps (KS, TX, and WA)
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of General Counsel
  • U.S. Department of Labor (CA)
  • U.S. Forest Service (NM)
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (DC)
  • University of Colorado Law Schoool, American Indian Law Clinic
  • University of Colorado, Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Office of Compliance Services
  • University of Texas Law School, Capital Punishment Clinic (TX)
  • Vicente Sederberg LLC
  • VMWare (TX)
  • Washington Court of Appeals (WA)
  • Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP