Law Schools Ranked by Employment Results

Above The Law 2021 top 50 law schools ranked by 2020 employment results:

  1. U Chicago
  2. U. Virginia
  3. Duke
  4. Cornell
  5. Michigan
  6. Yale
  7. U Penn
  8. Stanford
  9. WashUStL
  10. Harvard
  11. UCal-Berkeley
  12. Northwestern
  13. Columbia
  14. U Texas at Austin
  15. Vanderbilt
  16. NYU
  17. U Alabama
  18. UCLA
  19. Iowa
  20. Georgetown
  21. Notre Dame
  22. U Georgia
  23. U Florida
  24. UNC
  25. Illinois

There are about 200 ABA accredited law schools in the US.

Only one tie in the rankings = at #9 (Harvard & WashUStL).


What is an “employment result”? Getting a job? Getting a job at a BigLaw firm and/or clerkship? Measured when- before or after taking the bar?


Employed in a JD (law degree) required position (bar passage required to retain job).

For full methodology, visit Above The Law website. Another component of the rating system considers cost of law school related to starting salary which punishes NYU & Columbia, for example.

Above The Law law school rankings continued:

  1. Ohio State
  2. USC (Southern Cal)
  3. Washington & Lee
  4. Boston University
  5. Wake Forest University
  6. William & Mary
  7. Boston College
  8. U Kentucky
  9. U Utah
  10. Villanova
  11. BYU
  12. Drexel
  13. Wayne State
  14. U Tennessee
  15. FSU (Florida State)
  16. Minnesota
  17. Wisconsin
  18. Nebraska
  19. U Kansas
  20. U South Carolina
  21. Texas A&M
  22. U Houston
  23. Seton Hall
  24. U Arkansas-Fayetteville
  25. Missouri

This annual ranking is volatile as not even one of the top 50 law schools remained in the same position as last year. (Duke was #1 last year). Biggest downward moves (down 12 spots) were experienced by Minnesota & Wisconsin.

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NOTE: Even though WashUStL & Harvard are tied at #9, the CC system auto “corrects” the numerical rankings to #9 and #10 even though I assign #9 to both schools.

Also, I broke up the rankings into the top 25 & the remaining 25 law schools because the CC system does not allow breaks in a list.

Due to the volatile nature of this rating & ranking system, I focus only on the top 25–maybe top 30–schools. Several schools disappear each year from the bottom 20 to 25 ranked schools.

From the same data source that this web site’s law school employment reports are based on?

Data Source = law schools reports to the ABA (American Bar Association) .

Above The Law incorporates the ABA reports into its methodology.

I haven’t looked any deeper, but couldn’t this just be a proxy for how big their graduating classes are? You would really have to control for that for this to have any implied quality meaning.

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I have not looked at the stats, but I doubt it. Georgetown is huge.

My baby sister is starting at one this fall that didn’t crack the top 50 here, but she already has a job, so I guess it’s not something that mattered to her- she’ll just switch from one role at her current job to another. Since she also got a full tuition scholarship and her current job let her move to school and work remotely while she attends part-time, I guess it’s all worked out ok for her without worrying about ranks. She was excited that she was waitlisted at Georgetown and then immediately mentally moved on and got excited about where she was going.

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Data sources for LST are described at:

I’m not saying it’s a 1:1 correlation. If one school graduates 400 and another graduates 100, you’d expect the bigger class to be higher up the list.

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Just happened to see this thread at the bottom of my feed. S & DIL graduated from a top law school (just out of T14) in '11. DIL had a job in FL, so S followed her without one. His school paid for a public service position until he found a private sector job so they could count him as employed for purposes of measuring passed the bar & employed at the measurement date. I share this because I know his isn’t the only school that does this to launch their grads in tough job markets/tough times, so I think this data isn’t necessarily representative of what we would typically think of as employed. While he worked in a FL public defender’s office, he was being paid a stipend of $1500/month - not what I think of as fully employed. Thank goodness he found a real job a few months after the measurement date. D worked in a position where she had access to the law school data at that time and shared that for his class year about 30-40% of his class (If I remember correctly) were on that stipend program initially. It was a rough time for the class of 2011.


tbf: above the law incorporates more than just employment results; 25% to cost/debt…

QUALITY JOBS SCORE (35%) [note to 2vu0609: excludes school funded jobs]





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4 Big Problems with Above the Law rankings - according to Above the Law

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No. They’re looking at percentages, not absolute numbers. Failure to control for class size would make this ranking totally meaningless. The people at ATL are not fools. Cornell strongly outperforming Harvard, Georgetown, and NYU is sign that the size control was effective.