Graduate employment surges 10 points

UF Law’s Class of 2013 saw a 10 percentage point increase in full-time, bar-passage required jobs compared with the previous year’s class. Nationwide, the increase in these jobs among law schools was less than 1 percent, according to American Bar Association data.

There was a 43 percent increase compared with the Class of 2012 in securing small firm jobs (from 42 to 60), and an increase of 40 percent in securing government jobs (from 42 to 59). Rob Birrenkott, UF Law’s assistant dean for career development, credited alumni with the sharp employment increase. He appealed to alumni to build on the hiring momentum in the year to come. (Learn more at www. law.ufl.edu/career/employers)

“The Gator Nation is more than a slogan; alumni have been instrumental in helping our students while in school and beyond by recruiting students for jobs and internships, traveling to campus to meet with students, and volunteering to mentor law students and recent graduates,” Birrenkott said. “UF Law alumni readily share their time, talent, and other resources, which culminates in improved outcomes for graduates.”

UF Law publishes an analysis of hiring statistics nine months after graduation. The latest complete report of data can be found at www.law.ufl.edu/career/employment statistics.

This jobs data will be reflected in the U.S. News & World Report rankings in 2015, but it has already boosted UF Law in national rankings. UF Law was 32nd in the nation (13th among public universities) in online publication Above the Law’s new Top 50 Law School Ranking. It’s the only ranking to incorporate the latest ABA employment data for the class of 2013, and it focuses exclusively on “outcomes,” defined as full-time, long-term jobs, job quality, federal judicial clerkships with active judges, school costs adjusted for cost of living, and alumni satisfaction. The American Bar Association also increasingly uses outcome measures to determine lawschool effectiveness. UF and Miami (49th) were the only Florida law schools to make the list.

Meanwhile, summer 2014 student externship placements are at an all-time high: 228 compared to 196 for summer 2013, reports Leslie Knight, director of externship programs and professor of law. Out-of-state externships are among those on the rise at 22, up from 17 last year.

UF Law is ranked in the top tier, 49th, among law schools in the newest U.S. News & World Report ranking, and is 24th among public universities. U.S. News has been subject to increasing criticism for how it incorporates into the formula factors that are measured differently by different law schools (such as spending per student). But on the factor of “quality,” UF Law has the best reputational scores among publics in the southeast: 14th among the nation’s publics and 35th overall. The Graduate Tax Program continues to rank first among publics and second overall, and the environmental law program is seventh among publics and 14th overall. UF Law also had 13 graduates placed in federal judicial clerkships — the 26th highest number in the nation.