On April 1, 2022 Colorado Law reported post-graduation employment data for its class of 2021 the American Bar Association (ABA). Below is a summary of the employment information for the class of 2021 as of ten months after graduation, March 15, 2022. A more detailed description of the employment outcomes and salaries for this class will appear on this page soon.

You may review the class of 2021 ABA Employment Summary here. The class of 2021 NALP Employment Report will be available later this year.

How Many Graduates from the Class of 2021 Are Employed?

Consistent with transparency in reporting, we calculate overall employment percentages by dividing the number of employed graduates by the total number of graduates.

  • 87% (148/171) of 2021 graduates reported employment ten months after graduation (March 15, 2022)
    • 83% (142/171) of graduates reported a full-time, long-term (a position that does not have a definite term of less than one year), non-school funded job for which bar passage was required or a JD degree was an advantage.
    • 75% (128/171) of graduates reported a full-time, long-term, non-school funded job for which bar passage was required.
    • 84% (143/171) reported full time jobs. This represents 97% of employed graduates.
    • 84% (144/171) reported long-term jobs. This represents 97% of employed graduates.

Two members of the class of 2021 accepted full-time, long-term, bar passage required jobs before March 15, 2022 but started their positions a few days later. In accordance with ABA rules, neither of these graduates are counted as employed in the official tallies above. Adding them to our job totals would bring the percentage of those employed in full-time, long-term, law or law-related jobs to 84%, and overall employment to 88%, as of March 21, 2022.

Class of 2021 graduates ten months after graduation

  • Employed = 148*
  • Employed, start date deferred = 3
  • Pursuing additional degree = 5
  • Unemployed and seeking employment = 8
  • Unemployed and not seeking employment = 4
  • Unknown = 3

* Two of the 148 employed graduates are receiving funding from Colorado Law's post-graduate fellowship program for work with judges.

U.S. News Employment Statistics

On March 30, 2022 U.S. News & World Report released its current law school rankings, which include employment statistics from the class of 2020. For both the “employed at graduation” and “employed ten months after graduation” categories, U.S. News gives maximum weight only to those graduates with full-time jobs that last at least one year for which bar passage was required, or a JD degree was an advantage, and which are not funded by the law school or university.

Employment statistics utilizing the U.S. News formula at graduation:

  • 57.3% (98/171) for the class of 2021
    • 46.3% for the class of 2020
    • 62.8% for the class of 2019
    • 58.5% for the class of 2018
    • 53.6% for the class of 2017
    • 52.2% for the class of 2016

Employment statistics utilizing the U.S. News formula ten months after graduation:

  • 83.0% (142/171) for the class of 2021
    • 78.5% for the class of 2020
    • 84.6% for the class of 2019
    • 85.0% for the class of 2018
    • 83.9% for the class of 2017
    • 73.4% for the class of 2016

Employment Categories

  • 45% (67/148) of employed graduates are working in law firms:
    • 96% (65/67) of these graduates are in full-time, long-term positions for which bar passage is required.
    • 28 of those 67 grads reported employment at a National Law Journal 500 law firm ten months after graduation, while 3 additional grads will join an NLJ 500 firm after their judicial clerkships. Together, these 31 graduates account for 21% of all employed 2021 graduates, compared to 14% for class of 2020 graduates, 22% for class of 2019 graduates, 14% for class of 2018 graduates, 16% for class of 2017 graduates, and 17% for class of 2016 graduates.
  • 17% (25/148) of employed graduates are working in government:
    • 96% (24/25) of these graduates are working in full-time positions that last at least one year for which bar passage was required, or a JD degree was an advantage.
    • Six of these graduates are working for the U.S. Federal government, including two who are working as Judge Advocate Generals for the U.S. Armed Forces. The others are working for state, local, or tribal governments in Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wyoming.
  • 16% (24/148) of employed graduates are working in judicial clerkships:
    • Five of these graduates are in federal court clerkships in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Eight are in state appellate court clerkships in Colorado and Alaska, and 11 are in state trial court clerkships.
  • 12% (17/148) of employed graduates are working in public interest:
    • Ten of these graduates are working for public defender offices in Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico.
  • 6% (9/148) of employed graduates are working in business:
    • 100% of these graduates are working in full-time jobs that last at least one year for which bar passage was required, or a JD degree was an advantage.
    • These businesses include DISH Network, Liberty Latin America, Lumen Technologies, Partners Group, and Renewable Energy Systems (RES).
  • 3% (4/148) of employed graduates are working in education:
    • 100% of these graduates are working in full-time jobs at universities in Colorado and Georgia that last at least one year for which bar passage was required, or a JD degree was an advantage.
  • 1% (2/148) of employed graduates are working in Law School-funded fellowships:
    • These graduates are working for judges in Colorado state trial courts.

Salaries

  • 97% (143/148) of all employed graduates reported a salary to the CDO:
    • These salaries represent 140 long-term jobs and 3 short-term jobs.
  • The median salary was $70,000 and the mean was $87,931.
  • Twenty-five percent of the graduates reporting salaries earn $90,000 or more per year.
  • Twenty-five percent of the graduates reporting salaries earn $59,000 or less per year.

To maintain consistency with the NALP employment report, we report only salaries from full-time, long-term positions held by members of the class of 2021 as of March 15, 2022. We received salaries from 97% of graduates employed in full-time, long-term positions (139/143).

Colorado Law is dedicated to making public interest legal careers a real option for our graduates, despite the reality of educational debt. Our Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) is available to graduates working in qualifying public interest jobs and provided partial loan repayment awards in the amount of $6,500 to 52 qualified applicants in the 2022 award year.

Salary Summary by Employment Sector

Sector # of grads FT/LT FT/ST PT/LT PT/ST % FT/LT w/ Salary Median Mean 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
Private Sector 76 74 0 0 2 95% $90,000 $114,766 $70,000 $170,000
Public Sector 72 69 0 1 2 100% $60,000 $60,707 $50,000 $67,000

Salary Summary by Employment Category

Category # of grads FT/LT FT/ST PT/LT PT/ST % FT/LT w/ Salary Median Mean 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
Law Firms 67 65 0 0 2 93% $90,000 $117,962 $70,000 $177,500
Judicial Clerk 26 24 0 0 2 100% $53,200 $56,054 $49,557 $59,406
Government 25 24 0 1 0 100% $68,778 $65,447 $53,000 $75,000
Business 9 9 0 0 0 89% $90,000 $90,000 $67,500 $112,500
Public Interest 17 17 0 0 0 100% $64,260 $63,105 $60,000 $64,260
Academic 4 4 0 0 0 100% $50,000 $50,000 $47,500 $52,200

Salary Summary by Employment Type

Type # of grads FT/LT FT/ST PT/LT PT/ST % FT/LT w/ Salary Median Mean 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
Bar Required 131 128 0 0 3 98% $70,000 $91,123 $59,000 $110,000
JD Advantage 17 15 0 1 1 93% $60,000 $59,438 $55,000 $65,417
Professional 0 - - - - - - - - -
Non-Professional 0 - -   - - - - - -

Bar Admission Required/Anticipated: This job requires the graduate to pass the bar, before or after being hired, and be licensed to practice law. These jobs may be in a law firm, business, government, non-profit setting, or judicial clerk.
JD Advantage: This job does not require bar passage, an active law license, or involve practicing law, but your JD provides a demonstrable advantage in obtaining or performing the job. Examples of this job type are varied and numerous.
Professional: This job requires professional skills or training but a JD is neither required nor particularly applicable. Examples include teachers of non-law topics, real estate agents, performing arts specialists, doctors, nurses, engineers, or architects.
Non-Professional: This job does not require any professional skills or training such as a barista, server, or hairstylist.

Employment Summary by Location

Of the 128 graduates reporting employment in the Mountain region, 120 are employed in Colorado. This represents 81% of employed graduates.

Region # Student Reported % of Reported
New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) 2 1.4%
Mid-Atlantic (NJ, NY, PA) 0 0.0%
North East Central (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) 1 0.6%
North West Central (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD) 1 0.6%
South Atlantic (DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV) 5 3.4%
South East Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) 1 0.6%
South West Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) 2 1.4%
Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY) 128 86.5%
Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) 8 5.4%
Foreign 0 0.0%
Unknown 0 0.0%

Timing of Post-grad Jobs

The timing of Colorado Law students accepting post-graduate employment follows a similar pattern each year. By spring break, usually one-third or more of students report a post-graduate position. By graduation, at least one half of graduates are employed. While some graduates accept positions over the summer, it is more common for graduates to report accepting jobs in September and October, after the bar exam but before the bar results have been released. Then, by mid-January, we typically hit our high and expect some fluctuation before March 15.

Class of 2021 Offer Timing % Reported
Offer received before graduation 62%
Offer received after graduation but before bar results 24%
Offer received after bar results 14%