We finalized and reported post-graduation employment data for Colorado Law's class of 2011.  A detailed description of the employment outcomes and salaries of the class of 2011 appears below.

With respect to current students, we are pleased to report that over 90% of students in the 2013 and 2014 classes have substantive employment in the summer of 2012.  Of the 188 students in the class of 2013, 173 reported summer employment in or related to the legal profession.  Of the 160 students in the class of 2014, 150 reported summer employment in or related to the legal profession.  A majority of these summer positions are paid and/or full time.

Finally, over half of the members of the class of 2012 have reported post-graduate employment before receiving bar exam results, and we continue to work with all recent graduates who are seeking employment.

How Many Graduates from the Class of 2011 Are Employed?

Of the 176 graduates in the Colorado Law class of 2011, 160 (91 percent) reported employment nine months after graduation. Consistent with transparency in reporting and with U.S. News & World Report's current formula, we calculate employment percentages by dividing the number of employed graduates by the total number of graduates. Our calculation's denominator includes graduates who are not seeking employment (two graduates), those pursuing post-JD degrees (four graduates), and those from whom no employment status could be determined (one graduate).

  • Seventy percent of our 2011 graduates reported jobs requiring a law degree, compared to 65 percent of graduates nationwide.  These 124 graduates represent 78 percent of employed graduates. 
  • Sixty percent, or 106 graduates, in our class of 2011 reported full time work in bar passage required positions (98 full time, long term; 8 full time, short term). 
  • This sixty percent not include a number of quality positions obtained on the strength of the law degree and legal training, such as a full time postion as Assistant General Counsel with a presidential campaign, a Presidential Managment Fellow with the United State Department of Agriculture, three positions with a Colorado state agency doing health care policy work, two positions with large investment companies, one with a large telecom company, and one with CU's Technology Transfer Office.
  • Seventy-five percent of 2011 graduates reported full time jobs.  These 132 graduates represent 83 percent of employed graduates.
  • Finally, 68 percent of 2011 graduates reported long-term jobs, defined as a position that does not have a definite term of less than one year.  These 119 graduates represent 74 percent of employed graduates.  Post-graduate fellowships with judges and government agencies, for example, are not considered long-term jobs, although they regularly lead to such positions.

Employment Reporting

This employment information was reported to the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) in February 2012, to the American Bar Association in March 2012, and will be reported to U.S. News in December 2012 (outcomes as of nine months after graduation):

  • Employed = 160*
  • Unemployed and seeking = 9
  • Pursuing additional degree = 4
  • Not seeking employment = 2
  • Unknown = 1

* = Thirteen of these 160 employed graduates were working for judges and in other public service roles and receiving funding from Colorado Law's post-graduate public service fellowship program.

Under the current U.S. News formula, the employment percentages that will be reported to U.S. News in December 2012 and will appear in the March 2013 rankings issue are:

89 / 176 = 50.6 % employed at graduation

160 / 176 = 90.9 % employed nine months after graduation

Employment Categories

Sixty-five of the 160 employed graduates in the class of 2011 (41 percent) were working for law firms in private practice nine months after graduation, and 92 percent of these law firm jobs were in law offices of 50 or fewer attorneys.  Eight 2011 graduates reported employment at National Law Journal 250 law firms, including Dorsey & Whitney, Faegre Baker Daniels, Gibson Dunn, Holland & Hart, Latham & Watkins, Perkins Coie and Shook Hardy & Bacon.

Twenty-nine of the 160 employed graduates (18 percent) accepted judicial clerkships. Seven of these were federal court clerkships, 15 were state appellate court clerkships, and seven were state trial court clerkships.  Nine of the 13 post-graduate fellows were employed with judges, so there were 38 graduates working with judges nine months after graduation.

Excluding fellows receiving school funding, 10 percent of employed graduates were working for government, and another five percent were in public interest positions such as with public defender offices.  Offers for these government and public interest positions are typically made after graduates pass the bar exam, months after graduation.

Finally, 23 of the 160 employed graduates (14 percent) accepted positions with businesses other than law firms, including Meadowlark Land & Title, Radiant Blue Technologies, Shareholder Representative Services, and Zayo Group.


Of the 160 employed graduates from the class of 2011, 110 reported a salary.  This represents 69 percent of employed graduates and 63 percent of all graduates. These 110 salaries represent 100 long-term jobs and 10 short-term jobs.  All 110 jobs are full time.

Colorado Law reported the 110 salaries reported by graduates in full-time jobs to NALP, which in its employment report excluded the 10 salaries associated with full-time, short-term jobs.  The 100 salaries that remain represent 63 percent of employed graduates and 57 percent of all graduates.

To maintain consistency with the NALP employment report, below we report only salaries from full-time, long-term positions held by members of the class of 2011 as of February 15, 2012.

We do not know if the reported salary information is representative of the unreported salary information. The median salary reported was $53,000 and the mean was $62,949.  25 percent of the graduates reporting salary data earn $70,000 or more per year, and 25 percent of the graduates reporting salaries earn $46,000 or less per year.

With respect to salaries, we note that our public service-focused programs, including criminal defense, are strong, and many of our alumni enthusiastically serve in offices such as the Office of the Public Defender, which currently pays less than $50,000 per year to recent law school graduates. The Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) is available for some graduates working in public service jobs, such as the Office of the Public Defender, and the program awarded each of eight qualified applicants with $6,500 awards during the 2011-2012 academic year.

Statistical Summary

The following charts provide more detailed information about the employment outcomes for the Colorado Law class of 2011, 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.

In each chart, you will find 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. 

Note:  One graduate who reported employment did not provide any additional information, so the number of employed students in the Employment Sector and Employment Category charts totals 159, not 160.  An additional graduate did not report an employment type, so the total number of employed students in the Employment Type chart totals 158, not 160.

* = Thirteen of the 18 graduates in the public sector reporting short term/part time employment are employed as post-graduate public service fellows.

* = Nine of the 13 post-graduate fellows were employed with judges, three with government agencies, and one with a public interest organization.

JD 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.

* = 123 of the 130 graduates reporting employment in the Mountain region were employed in Colorado.  This represents 70 percent of all graduates and 77 percent of employed graduates.