With an Eye on Big Firm Market, NLJ Reports On Top “Go-To” Law Schools

Law school applicants deciding which law school to attend are advised by just about everyone these days to consider carefully a law school’s employment data.  If you’re thinking of seeking employment in the big firm market, (and clearly not everyone is), you may be wondering which law schools sent the most graduates last year to Big Law?  According to The National Law Journal’s new list of  “Go-To Law Schools,” The University of Chicago Law School led the way in 2010, sending  nearly 59 percent of its graduates to the nation’s top law firms.

The National Law Journal published a list ranking the top 50 law schools by the percentage of juris doctor graduates in 2010 who took jobs at NLJ 250 firms, the nation’s largest law firms identified by the NLJ 250 annual survey.

Some notable points from the NLJ survey:

  • The University of Chicago Law School jumped to No. 1 from No. 4 last year. Last year, the No. 1 school sent 55.9% of its graduates to NLJ 250 firms.
  • Columbia Law School was ranked No. 1 in 2008 and in 2007. In 2009, the school sent 246 graduates to NLJ 250 law firms.
  • Northwestern topped the list last year, with 142 of its graduates hired by NLJ 250 law firms.
  • The number of 2010 graduates taking jobs at NLJ 250 firms was 3,822. The number of J.D. graduates from those schools was 13,989.
  • New to the top 50 this year are Georgia State, Rutgers–Newark, Seton Hall and Tulane.
  • Last year, the No. 50 school, Chicago-Kent College of Law, sent 13.2% of its class to NLJ 250 firms.

In reporting the data, the NLJ concluded that that, “at first glance, it looked like a brighter picture for first-year associate hiring in 2010. After all, the top two schools on the list supplied nearly 3% more of their graduates to the nation’s 250 largest law firms, compared with 2009. But overall, this year’s Go-To Law Schools sent fewer graduates into the big-firm market. The percentage of 2010 graduates taking jobs at NLJ 250 law firms was 27.3%, compared with 30.3% of 2009 graduates.”

 Here are the Top 25 schools:

  1.  1.   University Chicago
  2.  2.  Cornell
  3.  3.  Columbia
  4.  4.  University of Pennsylvania
  5.  5.  Harvard
  6. 6.  University of Virgina
  7. 7.  UC Berkeley
  8. 8.  Northwestern
  9. 9.  NYU Law
  10. 10.  University of Michigan  Law
  11. 11.  Stanford
  12. 12.  Duke
  13. 13.  Georgetown
  14. 14.  UCLA
  15. 15.  Yale
  16. 16.  Boston College
  17. 17.  Boston University
  18. 18.  Vanderbilt
  19. 19.  USC- Gould
  20. 20.  University of Texas
  21. 21.  Fordham
  22. 22.  George Washington
  23. 23.  Notre Dame
  24. 24.  Emory
  25. 25.  Washington University, St. Louis