Each year, law schools collect and report to NALP data related to recent graduate job searches. The following charts reflect only employed graduates.
Job Offer Timing
Students/graduates obtain their jobs at different times. Some receive the offer at the end of their second summer during law school or during their third year, while others need to graduate and/or pass the bar to earn an offer.
The majority of employed graduates had their job in hand at graduation, although this group accounts for less than half of all graduates. Overall, the rate of graduates who accepted their job before graduation appears to track the patterns in the number of jobs at large law firms.
Source of Job Offer
Some students enter law school expecting career services to hand them a job, while many others think the jobs will be funneled through on-campus interviews. This measures how graduates first made the contact that resulted in their obtaining the job.
Today, on-campus interviews are the third most common way graduates obtain jobs. More common are job postings and networking, e.g. referrals, self-initiated contact, and job fairs.
Despite already having a job, some employed graduates nevertheless continue to look for a different job. This largely indicates how satisfied graduates are with their current job, although some may be in a perpetual state of seeking opportunities.
Overall, the vast majority of employed graduates are not seeking a different job. But search status differs based on the type of job. According to NALP, 40% of graduates in JD Advantage jobs were seeking a different job in 2016, but only 9% of those in jobs that require a law license were. This pattern emerges every year.
About the Data
Job search data come from the National Association of Law Placement.