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Columbia Tops the NLJ List in Placing New Law Grads at Big Law Firms

The annual report for go-to law schools published by the National Law Journal saw Columbia Law School displacing the University of Pennsylvania Law School to bag the top spot for placing the highest percentage of its law graduates at large law firms in 2013.

While the success of Columbia Law School is obviously due to its competitive efforts, the decline in Pennsylvania Law School’s performance from No. 1 to No. 5 on the list may be influenced by the fact that Michael Fitts, the man who has been dean of Penn Law since 2000, and who has been credited for transforming the law school, is ultimately leaving for Tulane this July.

Be that as it may, the news is good for the students of Columbia Law School in that the school was able to put the highest number of its new law graduates into jobs at NLJ 250, or the 250 law firms considered the largest by the National Law Journal.

Speaking on the report, Beth Frerking, the editor-in-chief of the National Law Journal said, “Our survey found that associate hiring ticked up for a second consecutive year in 2013 … We also found that among the 50 law schools most popular for hiring by the nation’s 250 largest law firms, 27 percent of their graduates landed associate jobs, up from 25 percent in 2012. It’s the highest percentage reported in three years.”



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Columbia Law School had held the top spot on the list during 2007 and 2008, then lost it for the intervening years, most of them marked by the severe economic recession.

The other law schools within the Top 10 from top downwards were the New York University School of Law, Harvard Law School, University of Chicago, Penn Law School, Northwestern University School of Law, Duke Law School, Stanford Law School, Cornell Law School, and the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. All of these law schools had ranked within the Top 10 in 2012.

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