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BigLaw is pretentious. BigLaw is tierest. BigLaw will only take BigNames.
You've heard it all, but you've probably wondered if it's true. Well, the National Law Journal is here to prove you (mostly) right. The publication has delved into the employment numbers and ranked the top 50 law schools based on the percentage of 2011 graduates employed at NLJ 250 firms.
There are a few surprises.
Here are your top 10 law schools for BigLaw jobs:
- Pennsylvania (56.9%)
- Northwestern (52.1%)
- Columbia (51.7%)
- Harvard (48.9%)
- Stanford (48.1%)
- UC Berkeley (45.9%)
- Chicago (45.3%)
- Duke (40.1%) 11)
- NYU (40.0%)
- Virginia (39.8%)
Where's Yale? And Cornell? What about Michigan, Georgetown and Texas? They're T-14 schools, after all.
Well, it turns out that they're only T-20 in the realm of BigLaw jobs. Yale comes in at number 15 (29.8%) on the list, while Cornell is higher up at 11 (38.3%). Michigan is further down the list at number 13 (31.5%), followed by Georgetown at number 14 (31.5%). Texas, sadly, is located at a cool 19 (21.5%).
These schools often point to the large number of graduates taking judicial clerkships, according to the ABA Journal. A number of them are also quite proud of the percentage of students that go into public service. Based on 2010, these arguments have some truth.
At Yale, 36.3% of 2010 graduates took clerkships, with another 20.5% choosing public interest and government jobs. Michigan's 2010 class boasts an 11% judicial clerkship rate, with 21% of graduates working in public interest and service jobs. And 13% of 2010 graduates at Texas took clerkships, while 15% went into public service.
Added up, the employment rates are pretty high. Even if they don't get a BigLaw job, students at any of these schools should be more than fine.