More Than 96 Percent of Law School’s Class of 2012 Employed
In a job market still feeling the effects of a recession, more than 96 percent of Harvard Law School’s most recent alums secured a job nine months after graduation, marking a slight improvement over the previous graduating class.
As of mid-February, 568 of the 590 graduates of the Class of 2012 were employed, according to Mark A. Weber, assistant dean for career services at the Law School. The vast majority of these graduates, he said, are employed in full-time, long-term positions.
“No matter what the market, our students have always done well,” Weber said. “The reason our numbers are good is because we have a fantastic student body and employers want to hire our students.”
This year’s 96.27 percent employment rate is the Law School’s highest since 97.53 percent of the Class of 2009 found employment nine months after graduation, surpassing rates of 94.57 percent and 95.54 percent for the Class of 2010 and the Class of 2011, respectively.
“Even during the worse years, we were showing 95 percent employment. That’s a really good story,” Weber said. “Not only did we go up by almost a percentage point this year, at the same time we were funding fewer fellowships.”
The number of University- or Law School-funded positions dropped from 33 to 19 this year, providing jobs for more than 3 percent of graduates, relative to 5.66 percent the year before.
“During the downturn, we funded more folks to go into the public sector,” Weber said. “With the recession, the private sector was adversely impacted, and the public sector was affected even more. Schools were there to bridge that gap.”
This year, the drop in Harvard-sponsored positions reflects a stronger private sector that “absorbed more jobs,” Weber said.
More than 55 percent of members of the Class of 2012 found employment at law firms, an uptick of more than one percent over last year’s numbers, and just over 22 percent took up judicial clerkships.
The percentage of graduates engaged in government, public interest, or education work decreased this year, however. That figure dropped to under 14 percent for the most recent alums, a downswing from over 15 percent for the Class of 2011.
Starting salaries also increased slightly over last year. Members of the Class of 2012 are earning an average of $116,053, approximately $3,000 more than Class of 2011 graduates but about $3,600 less than Class of 2010 graduates.
“I was very pleased with the outcome, yet our work’s not done until everyone has a job,” Weber said in reflection on the data.
—Staff writer Dev A. Patel can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @dev_a_patel.