Law Professor Hiring: Statistics on JD Placement
UPDATE: Larry Solum has updated his stats, so I have updated mine.
After several years of examining Lawrence Solum’s very interesting and useful statistics about entry level hiring in legal academia, it is apparent that the vast majority of hires got their JDs from just a handful of law schools. Solum’s 2008 entry level law professor hiring report tallies 148 entry level hires for 2008. Harvard and Yale account for a whopping 33% of those hired.
So why are the results are skewed so dramatically toward a few law schools? Are they placing people because they have a higher percentage of their graduates hired? Or because they have such a greater number of graduates applying for teaching jobs?
I’ve long wondered what the success rate in hiring has been for particular law schools. Are nearly all Yale and Harvard applicants being hired? I wanted to find out the answer to this question, so I contacted AALS to get statistics on how many teaching applicants there were from each law school per year. AALS graciously supplied me with the data. In the chart below, I have combined data from AALS about applicants per school for the hiring seasons of 2006-07 and 2007-08 with Lawrence Solum’s data of entry level hires (2007 entry level report and 2008 entry level report) to reveal some hopefully useful statistics. I have ranked schools based on their percentage of hired graduates.
Below is a table of schools ranked by the percentage hired in the hiring seasons of 2006-07 and 2007-08 combined. Please note that in schools with only a few applicants, the difference of one or two hires can make a very substantial difference in the statistics. I used two years worth of data combined to try to eliminate the anomalies of any given year, but even two years of data will have some anomalies.
|LAW SCHOOL||TOTAL JD APPLICANTS 2006-08||JD APPLICANTS HIRED 2006-08||% HIRED 2006-08|
|Wash & Lee||14||2||14%|
The numbers illustrate that the schools with the greatest success by and large had the most applicants. One exception was Georgetown, which sent 80 applicants (the 3rd highest number, behind Harvard and Yale), but had a 10% hiring rate. But the number of Georgetown graduates hired ranked #10 among all law schools. One thing this data illustrates is that the very low numbers in the academy for JDs from most schools is at least party attributed to the fact that they aren’t applying.
There are only 8 schools that have sent an average of more than 20 applicants per year (from 2006-08). Here’s a list of these schools and their success percentages: Yale (51%), Harvard (37%), Virginia (35%), Michigan (30%), Columbia (28%), Berkeley (28%), NYU (26%), Georgetown (11%).
Below is another table, this one listing schools by their US News rank order and containing the percentage hired for 2006-07 and 2007-08 separately:
|LAW SCHOOL||JD APPLICANTS 2006-07||JD APPLICANTS HIRED 2006-07||% HIRED 2006-07||JD APPLICANTS 2007-08||JD APPLICANTS HIRED 2007-08||% HIRED 2007-08|
|Wash & Lee||10||2||20%||4||0||0%|