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UB Law grads doing well in tough job market

2014 Law School graduates

More than 84 percent of graduates of the Class of 2013 found employment within nine months of graduation. Photo: Rob McElroy for UB Law School

By ILENE FLEISCHMANN

Published July 24, 2014

“While the market continues to be a challenge, our students are some of the most successful in the state in landing a wide variety of long-term legal jobs.”
Lisa Patterson, associate dean for career services
UB Law School

The Law School has released employment figures for its Class of 2013 showing an employment rate on par with and exceeding the national average in one of the toughest job markets for new law school graduates.

The employment data was gathered by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), which publishes employment figures each year for new graduates nine months after they finish school.

For all U.S. law schools, NALP reported that 84.5 percent of graduates from the Class of 2013 were either employed or enrolled in an academic degree program nine months after graduation. UB Law’s figure is 84.1 percent, very close to the national average, with 190 of 233 2013 grads securing employment within nine months after graduating, says Lisa M. Patterson, associate dean for career services.

UB Law School’s employment figures score above the national average when factoring in one major difference in the way other law schools compile employment data, Patterson points out. According to the NALP data, many law schools hire their own graduates or fund their fellowships at nonprofit organizations. Many schools include these positions in their employment figures, which account for 4.7 percent of all jobs held by the Class of 2013 nationwide, NALP’s data shows.

UB Law, on the other hand, does not hire its own graduates nor does it fund graduate fellowships at nonprofit organizations, Patterson notes.  When temporary, school-funded positions are excluded from NALP data, UB ranks second among all New York State law schools — behind only Columbia Law School — in the percentage of active job seekers who are employed, according to Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers.

Nationwide, according to NALP, 11.2 percent of law graduates from the Class of 2013 were still seeking work nine months after graduation; among UB Law graduates the figure is a significantly lower: 8.4 percent. In addition, UB Law grads enrolled in graduate academic programs at a much higher rate than the national average — 4 percent, compared with just 1.8 percent nationwide.

The employment data also show that 69 percent of UB Class of 2013 graduates hold jobs that required that they pass a state bar exam, indicative of traditional careers in law practice, Patterson says. The nationwide average is 64.4 percent.

These UB Law School graduates are working in locations from Florida to Alaska, Hawaii to South Korea, as prosecutors, public defenders, associates at private firms or solo practitioners, as well as in corporate settings, nonprofit agencies and federal government positions.

“While the market continues to be a challenge, our students are some of the most successful in the state in landing a wide variety of long-term legal jobs,” notes Patterson. “The quality of our educational program combined with our affordability enables our graduates to enter practices from Wall Street to Main Street.”