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Law school officials are particularly sensitive right now, with the current industry employment rate of 85.6 percent, according to the Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP). Meanwhile, the average debt last year for students in private law schools was $125, 000, according to a report in the ABA Journal.\
Our slide show of 15 Northeast law schools, ranked by 2011 employment rates, contains some surprises. Here's a hint: Harvard Law is only the fourth best-ranked of the bunch.
Most local schools now offer up detailed employment reports, often for multiple years, of employment percentages. They also often contain how many graduates work in small, medium and large law firms and precisely how many — or how few — are collecting six-figure paychecks.
All ABA-accredited law schools must report these employment statistics on their websites. Because the job market has been tough for the past several years, that is reflected in many of the schools' employment numbers. Some schools have also posted messages along with the numbers, that seem to give prospective students a reality check, while also emphasizing the institutions’ assets.
For instance, Roger Williams University School of Law notes on its employment stats page that in 2010, twice as many individuals passed the bar exam as there were traditional legal jobs available in the U.S. "Since 2004, total employment in law offices has remained flat even as law school enrollment has increased by seven percent, " the page notes, adding that the school has increased its experiential education efforts as a result.
To check out the employment prospects for various East Coast law schools check out our slide show and read this week’s story “Law School Transparency Deepens, ” in this week’s Boston Business Business Journal.
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