How bad did law school graduates have it in 2009? This is the question everyone’s been wondering. But now we finally have a little data to shed some light on the situation. The National Law Journal‘s annual Go-To Law School List recently came out with its 2010 rankings of with the highest percentage of law school graduates hired by firms (NLJ 250 law). The bad news is that the No. 1 school sent less than 56% to NLJ 250 law firms (down from 71%). But, for Northwestern, there’s at least a little good news.
Just yesterday at Northwestern, we received an email from Dean Van Zandt. His message was to inform everyone about the survey and about our top spot on the list. Rankings aside, it’s good to know that the Dean and career center are doing there best to do well in today’s tough legal market. I suspect and hope that in 2011, the percentages will be a lot better for everyone. I guess we’ll see how things ultimately play out.
Here is a small piece of the Dean’s message below.
“I am pleased to share that Northwestern Law holds the No. 1 spot. This is the third consecutive year that we have ranked in the top 5 (we were 5th in 2008 and 2nd in 2007).
The list of “go-to” schools was compiled from recruiting information that law firms provided on the 2009 NLJ 250, the National Law Journal’s annual survey of the nation’s largest law firms. As the article indicates, 2009 saw a definite decline in first-year associate employment at the nation’s 250 largest law firms, so the percentages are down across the board this year.
While the difficult economy continues to present immediate challenges to students hitting the job market, our placement in the top spot on this list is a testament to our strong reputation. This is the second time this year that we have been ranked No. 1 in an employment-based ranking. In the fall, Princeton Review ranked Northwestern Law No. 1 for Best Career Prospects.”
For reference, the top 15 law schools are (percent hired by NLJ 250 in parentheses):
1. Northwestern Law (55.9)
2. Columbia Law School (54.4)
3. Stanford Law School (54.1)
4. University of Chicago (53.1)
5. University of Virginia (52.8)
6. University of Michigan (51)
7. University of Pennsylvania (50.8)
8. New York University (50.1)
9. University of California, Berkeley (50)
10. Duke Law School (49.8)
11. Harvard (47.6)
12. Vanderbilt (47.1)
13. Georgetown (42.8)
14. Cornell (41.5)
15. University of Southern California (41.3)
Also for reference, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog makes mention of our ranking. To read the full story, click here”