This website uses a variety of data sources to produce the most comprehensive collection of data ever compiled and published on a school-by-school basis. Depending on the year, we collected and reconciled data from up to four sources: the ABA, U.S. News, school websites, and school reports. Because the ABA, U.S. News, and NALP are all on different reporting deadlines, and schools have the ability to update their websites whenever they please, the data do not necessarily fit into one perfectly cohesive picture. We reconciled incompatible data as fairly as possible, resolving conflicts in favor of the more comprehensive dataset. (E.g., we usually give preference to the data provided by schools in NALP reports.) In no case were there more than a few percentage points difference, usually spread out across multiple data categories.
Any discussion about employment data collection begins with NALP's relationship to its member law schools. For almost 40 years, NALP has collected post-graduation outcome data from these schools in great detail. In 2012, all but a few schools provided NALP with data about each class of 2011 graduate.
Using NALP's survey, ofen through Symplicity or a similar web interface, career services officers go to great efforts to collect data from graduates. In addition to asking (and re-asking) graduates to fill out the survey, the career services officers play detective and seek data from reliable sources to fill in any gaps.
Once NALP receives the data, its researchers cleanse the data and provide report summaries to each school within three months. These data form the basis for most of the employment information available to prospectives. The categories for which NALP collects are numerous. For example, if the graduate is employed at a law firm, NALP asks how large the law firm is, whether it is a branch office or the headquarters, and what type of law firm job the graduate does. For employed graduates, NALP requests whether the graduate is still looking for employment elsewhere and what the expected job duration is (short- or long-term). NALP also inquires about each graduate's race/ethnicity, gender, age, disability status, program type at graduation (part- or full-time), special job funding, job offer timing, annual starting salary, and source of job.
Although NALP annually publishes the aggregate and average information from all law schools, NALP agrees to keep all graduate-level data and each school's NALP Report private. While NALP is bound by confidentiality agreements and cannot release any school-specific data or information, the same is not true for the schools. Accordingly, much of the battle for employment data transparency over the past few years has been about convincing schools to make public the employment data they already possess.
Beginning with the class of 2010, the ABA began to collect graduate-level data too. While not nearly as extensive as the NALP collection, it covers much of what matters to prospective students making decisions among law schools. Unfortunately, the ABA does not disclose all that it collects either.
Admissions data, such as entering class LSAT scores, GPAs, and enrollment size, and financial data, such as tuition & fees, indirect expenses, and discounts come mostly from the ABA, which collects the data from the schools on its annual questionnaire. We also collected some data directly from schools.
For the class of 2011, we used data from the ABA, law school websites, and law school NALP reports. Many schools refuse to make public their NALP reports. Others also refuse to make use employment information public on their websites.
For the class of 2010, we used data from the ABA, law school websites, law school NALP reports, and U.S. News. Many schools refuse to make public their NALP reports. Others also refuse to make use employment information public on their websites.
For the class of 2008 and class of 2009, we only used data from U.S. News because the magazine provided the best publicly available employment information at the time.
While we possess some employment data about these two graduating classes, we have elected not to publish them on this website because they are not directly comparable to subsequent years. If you are interested in these data for scholarly purposes, please email us at