Law Students

Updated Data for Highest Starting Salaries of Law School Graduates
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Most of the data in a story we published earlier this month turned out to be incorrect when it comes to the highest starting salaries for law school graduates.

The data was published by the National Association for Law Placement in a new study and picked up by Forbes. They took the data from Payscale, which is a Seattle-based company.

  
What
Where


Payscale has a treasure-trove of data on salaries for employees at law firms, government jobs, non-profit organizations and other companies. The mistakes in the data occurred because Payscale does not release all of its data for free and law schools collect better data that Payscale itself. With all of that said, here is the updated list of top starting salaries for law school graduates:

1. University of Chicago Law School
$160,000
Class size: 215
Employed: 209
Number reporting salary: 202 (97%)

2. Columbia Law School
$160,000
Class size: 437
Employed: 425
Number reporting salary: 419 (96%)

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3. Northwestern University School of Law
$160,000
Class size: 284
Employed: 268
Number reporting salary: 256 (96%)

4. Harvard Law School
$160,000
Class size: 578
Employed: 556
Number reporting salary: 548 (95%)



5.  New York University School of Law
$160,000
Class size: 537
Employed: 514
Number reporting salary: 504 (94%)

6.  Stanford Law School
$160,000
Class size: 194
Employed: 186
Number reporting salary:  179 (92%)

7. Duke University School of Law
$160,000
Class size: 241
Employed: 225
Number reporting salary: 222 (92%)

*8. University of Pennsylvania Law School
$160,000
Class size: 259
Employed: 252
Number reporting salary: 235 (91%)

9. University of California at Berkeley School of Law (class of 2012)
$160,000
Class size: 312
Employed: 295
Number reporting salary: 261 (84%)

10. University of Virginia School of Law
$117,500
Class size: 364
Employed: 356
Number reporting salary: 348 (98%)
Note: Virginia places high because of the impressive number of grads who report their salaries. The school’s median private sector salary is $160,000.

11. Georgetown University Law School
$160,000
Class size: 626
Employed: 578
Number reporting salary: 332 (53%)

12. Cornell University Law School
Private sector: $160,000
Public service: $60,742
Class size: 193
Employed: 178
Note: According to Law School Transparency, among the class of 2010, 68% of graduates reported salaries.

13. University of Southern California Gould School of Law (class of 2012)
$145,000
Class size: 221
Employed: 189
Number reporting salary: 118 (53%)

*14. George Washington University Law School
$137,500
Class size: 575
Employed: 546
Number reporting salary: 242 (42%)

15. University of Michigan Law School (class of 2012)
$132,500
Class size: 388
Employed: 355
Number reporting salary: 282 (73%)

16. UCLA School of Law (class of 2012)
$135,000
Class size: 333
Employed: 302
Number reporting salary: 223 (67%)

17. Fordham University School of Law
Private sector: $160,000
Public service: $55,000
Class size: 481
Employed: 436
Note: According to Law School Transparency, among the class of 2010, 40% of graduates reported salaries.

19. Yale Law School (class of 2012)
$64,729
Class size: 222
Employed: 212
Number reporting salaries: 197 (89%)
Note: Yale’s median salary is low because 87 graduates did judicial clerkships where the median pay is just $57,408. The median in private practice is $160,000)

*20. Vanderbilt Law School
$110,000
Class size: 206
Employed: 194
Number reporting salary: 134 (65%)

*21. Boston University School of Law
$105,000
Class size: 278
Employed: 243
Number reporting salary: 140 (50%)

22. University of Texas at Austin School of Law
$100,000
Class size: 373
Employed:  343
Number reporting salary: 275 (81%)

23. University of Houston Law Center (class of 2012)
$110,000
Class size: 262
Employed: 225
Number reporting salary: 101 (39%)

24. Santa Clara University School of Law (class of 2012)
$100,000
Class size: 298
Employed: 226
Number reporting salary: 97 (33%)

*25. Boston College Law School
$90,000
Class size: 253
Employed: 222
Number reporting salary: 173 (68%)

26. University of California Hastings College of the Law (class of 2012)
$74,500
Class size: 443
Employed: 329
Number reporting salary: 211 (48%)

*27. Emory University School of Law (class of 2012)
$70,000
Class size: 266
Employed: 256
Number reporting salaries: 157  (59%)

28. University of San Francisco School of Law (class of 2012)
$66,750
Class size: 221
Employed: 139
Number reporting salary: 62 (28%)
Note: This is such a low response rate, consider that we only know that 11 grads are earning at least $66,750

29. University of San Diego School of Law (class of 2012)
$65,000
Class size: 327
Employed: 268
Number reporting salary: 115 (35%)
Note: Low response rate. Only 18 grads are making at least $65,000

30. Catholic University of America Columbus Law School (class of 2012)
$63,000
Class size: 246
Employed: 199
Number reporting salary: 99 (40%)

31. University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law (class of 2012)
$60,000
Class size: 134
Employed: 118
Number reporting salary: 82 (61%)

32. University of Colorado Law School (2012 data)
$50,082
Class size: 175
Employed:  158
Number reporting salaries: 100 (57%)



 

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