In April 2021, Colorado Law reported post-graduation employment data for its class of 2020 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 2020 as of ten months after graduation, March 15, 2021, appears below.

You may review the class of 2020 ABA employment summary by clicking here. The class of 2020 NALP Employment Summary will be available soon.

How Many Graduates from the Class of 2020 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.

  • 89% (158/177) of graduates reported employment ten months after graduation (March 15, 2021)
    • 79% (139/177) of graduates reported a full-time, long-term (defined as 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.
    • 72% (127/177) of graduates reported a full-time, long-term, non-school funded job for which bar passage was required.
    • 85% (150/177) reported full time jobs. This represents 95% of employed graduates.
    • 84% (149/177) reported long-term jobs. This represents 94% of employed graduates.
  • 55% (97/177) of graduates reported employment at graduation.

Three additional members of the class of 2020 accepted full-time, long-term, bar passage required jobs after the March 15, 2021 reporting deadline but before April 16, 2021. In accordance with ABA and NALP rules, none of these graduate are counted as employed in our official tallies. Adding them, along with fourth graduate who started a part-time job after March 15, to our job totals brings the percentage of those employed in full-time law or law-related jobs that last one year or more to 81%, and overall employment to 90%, as of April 16, 2021.

Class of 2020 graduates ten months after graduation

  • Employed = 158*
  • Employed, start date deferred = 1
  • Pursuing additional degree = 4
  • Unemployed and seeking employment = 6
  • Unemployed and not seeking employment = 3
  • Unknown = 5

* Six of the 158 employed graduates are receiving funding from Colorado Law's post-graduate fellowship program, two for work with judges and four for work with government agencies.

U.S. News Employment Statistics

On March 30, 2021 U.S. News & World Report released its current law school rankings, which include employment statistics from the class of 2019. 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:

  • 46.3% (82/177) 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:

  • 78.5% (139/177) 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

  • 39% (61/158) of employed graduates are working in law firms:
    • 97% (59/61) of these graduates are in full-time, long-term positions for which bar passage is required.
    • 18 of those 61 grads reported employment at a National Law Journal 500 law firm ten months after graduation, while four additional grads will join an NLJ 500 firm after their judicial clerkships. Together, these 22 graduates account for 14% of all employed 2020 graduates, compared to 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% (28/158) of employed graduates are working in judicial clerkships:
    • Eleven are in federal court clerkships, 7 are in state appellate court clerkships, and 10 are in state trial court clerkships.
  • 13% (20/158) of employed graduates are working in business:
    • 90% 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 Denver Health, Lumen Technologies, Molson Coors, ON Semiconductor, and Oracle.
  • 12% (19/158) of employed graduates are working in government:
    • 95% 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.
    • 12% (19/158) of employed graduates are working in public interest:
      • Eleven of these 19 graduates are working for public defender offices in Alaska, Colorado, New Mexico, and Washington, DC.
    • 4% (6/158) of employed graduates are working in Law School-funded fellowships:
      • Two are working with judges and four are working with government agencies.
    • 3% (5/158) of employed graduates are working in education:
      • These graduates are working at universities in Colorado and The Netherlands.

    Salaries

    • 93% (147/158) of all employed graduates reported a salary:
      • These salaries represent 139 long-term jobs and 8 short-term jobs.
    • The median salary was $65,000 and the mean was $76,234.
    • The private practice (law firm) mean salary was $97,136, the private sector mean salary was $92,824, and the public sector mean salary was $59,400.
    • Twenty-five percent of the graduates reporting salaries earn $85,000 or more per year.
    • Twenty-five percent of the graduates reporting salaries earn $54,000 or less per year.

    To maintain consistency with the 2020 NALP employment report, we report only salaries from full-time, long-term positions held by members of the class of 2020 as of March 15, 2021. We received salaries from 93% of graduates employed in full-time, long-term positions (137/147).

    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 45 qualified applicants with $5,500 awards for the 2020 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 81 77 1 2 1 90% $80,000 $92,824 $60,000 $115,000
    Public Sector 77 70 2 0 5 99% $59,208 $59,400 $52,000 $66,981

    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 61 59 0 1 1 92% $82,500 $97,136 $70,000 $120,000
    Judicial Clerk 30 28 1 0 1 96% $59,208 $57,932 $49,792 $64,005
    Government 23 18 1 0 4 100% $59,000 $62,444 $52,750 $71,500
    Business 20 18 1 1 0 83% $75,000 $77,300 $56,000 $97,500
    Public Interest 19 19 0 0 0 95% $63,250 $61,575 $55,000 $66,750
    Academic 5 5 0 0 0 100% $50,000 $48,541 $50,000 $50,000

    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 137 129 2 1 5 93% $69,500 $78,700 $56,500 $86,250
    JD Advantage 17 14 1 1 1 100% $55,100 $58,330 $52,000 $60,000
    Other Professional 3 3 0 0 0 100% - - - -
    Undeterminable 1 1 -   - - - - - -
    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.
    Other 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 124 graduates reporting employment in the Mountain region, 114 are employed in Colorado. This represents 72% of employed graduates.

    Region # Student Reported % of Reported
    New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) 3 1.9%
    Mid-Atlantic (NJ, NY, PA) 2 1.3%
    North East Central (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) 1 0.6%
    North West Central (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD) 0 0.0%
    South Atlantic (DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV) 11 6.9%
    South East Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) 1 0.6%
    South West Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) 3 1.9%
    Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY) 124 78.5%
    Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) 11 6.9%
    Foreign 1 0.6%
    Unknown 1 0.6%

    Timing of Post-grad Jobs

    The timing of Colorado Law students accepting post-graduate employment follows a distinct pattern. By spring break, 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. By mid-December (seven months after graduation), approximately 90 percent of our graduates report employment.  This pattern was somewhat disrupted by the pandemic, as many graduates accepted full-time, post-graduate jobs later than usual.

    April 1, 2020

    40%

    April 15

    43%

    May 1

    51%

    May 15

    52%

    June 1

    53%

    June 15

    56%

    July 1

    60%

    July 15

    60%

    August 1

    63%

    August 15

    65%

    September 1

    66%

    September 15

    70%

    October 1

    72%

    October 15

    76%

    November 1

    78%

    November 15

    82%

    December 1

    84%

    December 15

    86%

    January 1, 2020

    86%

    January 15

    86%

    February 1

    86%

    February 15

    86%

    March 1

    87%

    March 15

    89%

    Post-Graduate Employers of the Colorado Law Class of 2020

    Duplicate employers have been removed. Out of state employers have been marked. Any employers whose name could in some way identify a graduate have also been removed.

    • 1st Judicial District Attorney's Office
    • 1st Judicial District Court
    • 5th Judicial District Attorney's Office
    • 6th Judicial District Court (NM)
    • 8th Judicial District Court
    • 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office
    • 20th Judicial District Court
    • AdvisorLaw
    • Alaska Public Defender Agency (AK)
    • Aldrich Law Offices
    • Arnold & Porter
    • Balcomb & Green
    • BearBitz
    • Berg Hill Greenleaf 
    • Boulder Hemp
    • Bridge to Justice
    • Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
    • CannaAdvisors
    • Cannon Law
    • Caplan & Earnest
    • Catalyst Law Group
    • Charter School Law Group
    • Chief Justice Bolger, Alaska State Supreme Court (AK)
    • Chief Magistrate Judge Smith, U.S. District Court, District of Alaska (AK)
    • City of Aurora, Municipal Public Defender's Office
    • Clear Choice Dental
    • Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing
    • Colorado Department of Labor & Employment
    • Colorado Office of the Attorney General
    • Colorado State Public Defender
    • ContractsRx
    • Cooley
    • Crowell & Moring LLP (DC)
    • Denver City Attorney's Office, Municipal Operations
    • Denver Health
    • Derek Smith Law Group (FL)
    • Doida Law Firm
    • Dormer Harpring
    • Downey Brand (CA)
    • Earthjustice (DC)
    • EverCheck
    • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (DC)
    • Federal Mine Health and Safety
    • First American Title Insurance Company
    • First Peoples Worldwide
    • Flanders, Elsberg, Herber & Dunn, LLC
    • Flatirons Bank
    • Float First Texas (TX)
    • Foster Graham Milstein & Calisher LLP
    • Galluzzi, Howard, Cheney
    • High Performance Earthworks
    • Hoffman Nies Dave & Meyer
    • Hogan Lovells
    • Holland & Hart
    • Holland & Knight
    • Husch Blackwell
    • International Association of Privacy Professionals (NH)
    • Jackson Kelly 
    • Johnson Law Group
    • Judge Brown, Colorado Court of Appeals
    • Judge Campbell, U.S. District Court, District of Utah (UT)
    • Judge Cangilos-Ruiz, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of New York (NY)
    • Judge Englert, 2nd Judicial District Court
    • Judge Fox, Colorado Court of Appeals
    • Judge Hicks, U.S. District Court, District of Nevada (NV)
    • Judge Jackson, U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
    • Judge Navarro, Colorado Court of Appeals
    • Judge Parker, Western District of Tennessee (TN)
    • Judge Torrington, 2nd Judicial District
    • Judge Tymkovich, 10th Circuit Court of Appeals
    • Judge Villaseñor, 8th Judicial District Court
    • Judges Brinegar, Dean, and McDonald, 8th Judicial District Court
    • Judges VanGilder and Klein, 1st Judicial District Court
    • Justice Berkenkotter, Colorado Supreme Court
    • Justice Boatright, Colorado Supreme Court
    • Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum, International Humanitarian Law Clinic (The Netherlands)
    • Killian Davis
    • Kingsbery Johnson & Love
    • Kissinger Fellman
    • Koemel Law (OK)
    • Korey Wise Innocence Project
    • Lau & Choi
    • Law Office of Michael L. Garcia
    • Law Office of Sarah Pheral
    • Lee & Brown (AZ)
    • Legal Services of Northern California (CA)
    • Lewis Roca Rothgerber
    • Lumen Technologies
    • Magistrate Judge Varholok, U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
    • Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MA)
    • Messner Reeves
    • Milgrom & Daskam
    • Molson Coors (IL)
    • Montezuma County District Attorney's Office
    • Moye White
    • MW Legal Group, LLC
    • New Jersey Office of Administrative Law (NJ)
    • New Mexico Public Defender (NM)
    • Next Century Cities (DC)
    • Nixon Shefrin
    • O'Brian & Associates (WA)
    • ON Semiconductor (AZ)
    • Oracle America, Inc.
    • Otten Johnson
    • Paramount Residential Mortgage Group (CA)
    • Patterson Earnhart Realbird and Wilson 
    • Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Trial Division (DC)
    • Rocky Mountain Health Care Law
    • Ryan Whaley Coldiron Jantzen Peters & Webber PLLC (OK)
    • Sherman & Howard
    • Snell & Wilmer
    • Sound Development, LLC (CT)
    • The Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment (CA)
    • The Zalkin Law Firm (CA)
    • Third District Superior Court, Alaska Court System (AK)
    • Thomas Keel & Laird
    • Truleive (FL)
    • Tuthill & Hughes
    • Tyson & Mendes
    • U.S. Army JAG (DC)
    • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Secretary (DC)
    • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
    • U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review (WA)
    • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (AZ)
    • U.S. Senate (DC)
    • University of Colorado Law School
    • WilmerHale
    • Wood Smith Henning and Berman 
    • Woody Law Firm
    • Wyoming Legislative Service Office (WY)
    • Zimmerman & Frachtman P.A. (FL)
    • Zinda Law Group