Career services dean answers employment questions from prospective students

Let’s address some questions about employment raised by prospective students over the last few weeks.

When will employment statistics be available for KU Law’s most recent class?
For each graduating class, KU Law measures employment at graduation and nine months after graduation. Each February, every law school in the country submits final employment data to the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). In June, law schools receive a detailed report from NALP of national and school-specific trends.

We will submit our class of 2010 report to NALP on February 22, 2011. At that time, we will update our website with the “employed at graduation” and “employed nine months after graduation” data using the US News formula (which differs slightly from the NALP formula).

Here are the US News numbers from the 2006-09 graduating classes:

Graduation Year % Employed at Graduation % Employed Nine Months after Graduation US News Ranking
2009 63.2 89.0 TBD
(April 2011)
2008 69.4 93.6 67
(April 2010)
2007 67.1 95.5 65
(April 2009)
2006 65.9 94.7 73
(April 2008)

What’s the geographic dispersion of recent KU Law grads?

For the class of 2009, the last class for which we have complete information, 51.2 percent of the class was employed in Kansas, 21.7 percent in Missouri and 27.1 percent in other states and countries.

Most students reporting employment in Missouri were employed in the greater Kansas City area.

Outside of Kansas and Missouri, the most traveled-to states by the Class of 2009 were: Washington, D.C. (7), Arizona (3), Oklahoma (3), Colorado (2), Illinois (2) Maryland (2), New York (2), Texas (2), Virginia (2) and Washington (2).

Historically, between 65 percent and 75 percent of our students remain in the West North Central Region, as defined by NALP to include Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The bulk of these students find employment in Kansas and Kansas City, Mo.

Other popular regions for our grads are South Atlantic (on the strength of D.C.), West South Central (mainly in Texas) and Mountain (primarily in Arizona, Colorado and Utah).

How has the recession impacted on-campus recruiting?

Nationally, the most dramatic impact of the current economic situation was on fall 2009 recruiting of 2Ls for summer 2010 positions. At the largest national law firms, the median number of summer offers dropped from 30 in fall 2007 to 18.5 in 2008 to just 8 in 2009. The percentage of callback interviews resulting in summer jobs fell from 60 percent to 46.6 percent to 36.4 percent over that three-year period. The acceptance rate of 42.8 percent was an all-time high.Our on-campus interview (OCI) numbers serve as a rough barometer of the overall health of the legal economy, especially regionally. By tracking the last three academic years, it becomes clear that the recession was in full bloom in late summer/early fall 2009, the same time period in which employers were deciding whether to participate in the fall 2009 OCI program to recruit 2L law students for the summer of 2010.

Over half of law schools surveyed reported a decrease of 30 percent or more in the number of employers on campus in fall 2009 compared with fall 2008. Our drop was 40 percent, from 72 to 43 employers; 38.2 percent of schools in the Midwest reported a decrease of more than 40 percent.

Some good news: In the fall of 2010, 50 employers from 7 states conducted 670 interviews on campus, as compared to 562 on-campus interviews in the fall of 2009.  An increased number of call-back (second) interviews, offers and acceptances were also reported by our students.

What did last year’s 1Ls do over their summer break?

Eighty percent of the Class of 2012 reported summer employment and/or participation in summer school, a law school clinic or a study abroad program.

  • 45 enrolled in a summer school class.
  • 40 enrolled in a clinic in which they received course credit for completing practical legal work.
  • 15 participated in a KU Law-sponsored study abroad program.
  • 10 received a Bremyer Summer Clerk Scholarship for summer work with a legal employer in a less populous Kansas community.
  • 15 received a KU Law Summer Stipend for volunteer legal work with a public interest organization. Stipend recipients worked in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, California, New York, Texas and Washington.
  • Finally, 25 students secured a legal internship with an employer outside of the Bremyer or KU Law Summer Stipend Programs.

Todd Rogers, Assistant Dean for Career Services