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“2016 Go-To Law Schools” List Released, Columbia Law Prevails Again
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Summary: On Monday, The National Law Journal published its rankings of the law schools with the most first year BigLaw associate hirings.

This week, The National Law Journal released its 2016 list of law schools that send the most graduates to the 100 largest firms, and Columbia led the pack. With 220 of its 2015 graduates becoming first year BigLaw associates, this is the third straight year the New York Ivy Leaguer won the title.


University of Pennsylvania and University of Chicago took the second and third slot, respectively, based on percentages. Columbia Law School saw 52.6% of its graduates head to big firms while U Penn had 52.23% and U of Chicago had 52.04%.

The National Law Journal’s list is based on percentages and not sheer number of associates per school. The National Law Journal writes:

“Overall, large-firm hiring held steady in 2015 with 23 percent of graduates from our top 50 Go-To law schools taking new associate jobs at the biggest 100 firms — the same percentage as last year. Those 100 firms hired a total of 3,412 law school graduates from the class of 2015. At the same time, the 50 law schools most popular with large firms sent slightly fewer graduates into the job market than in 2014, although that 1.8 percent decline compared with 2014 was smaller than the 4 percent drop the previous year.”

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The 2015 list does not include graduates who went on to complete judicial clerkships. This could explain Yale Law School, Stanford Law School, and Harvard Law School’s lower rankings on the list.

Mark Weber, assistant dean of career services at Harvard Law, said that the school produces a large amount of judicial clerks who later move into big law firms. He maintains that law firm recruiting is up at Harvard Law.

In previous years, The National Law Journal analyzed associates going into the top 250 firms but this year decided to narrow its focus to the top 100.

Overall, while this year’s percentage of graduates going into large firms was “flat,” career advisers at the schools are optimistic about the future.

“If you compare [on-campus interviews] from 2010 to 2015, the level of optimism across all parties was definitely higher last year,” David Diamond, assistant dean of the Northwestern’s Center for Career Strategy and Advancement said. “When you look back to where we were just five years ago, it’s a very different landscape.”

Source: The National Law Journal

The National Law Journal’s Top 20 Go-To Law School List 

  1. Columbia Law School
  2. University of Pennsylvania Law School
  3. University of Chicago Law School
  4. Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  5. Duke Law School
  6. New York University School of Law
  7. Cornell Law School
  8. University of Virginia School of Law
  9. Stanford Law School
  10. University of California, Berkeley School of Law
  11. Harvard Law School
  12. University of Michigan Law School
  13. Georgetown University Law Center
  14. University of California at Los Angeles School of Law
  15. University of Southern California Gould School of Law
  16. Boston University School of Law
  17. Yale Law School
  18. University of Texas School of Law
  19. Vanderbilt University Law School
  20. Boston College Law School

For the complete list of Top 50 schools, check out The National LawJournal.



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