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UMass School of Law Graduates Are Finding More Work
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Summary: The University of Massachusetts posted a strong improvement in their job-placement rates this past year with more of their recent graduates passing the bar exam.

Things are starting to turn around for graduates of the University of Massachusetts School of Law. For the first time since 2010, over half of their last graduating class found full-time attorney work.


In recent American Bar Association reports, 55 percent of the Class of 2017 found full-time, long-term work requiring passage of the bar exam by this past spring. This is a 15 point increase from the Class of 2016. This ABA data puts UMass School of Law with the highest increase in full-time attorney employment in one year. Four of the Greater Boston law schools have better job-placement rates overall than UMass School of Law but the improvement is a big step in the right direction for the law school, according to Boston Business Journal.

UMass School of Law in Dartmouth, opened in 2010 when UMass took over Southern New England School of Law, transforming the law school into the only public law school in the state. During their first couple of years, the school’s employment numbers were very low. For the Class of 2011, 29 percent found full-time, long-term attorney work within a year of graduation. By the Class of 2015, the rate had increased to around 30 percent.

A big factor helping the law school this year is a higher number of graduates passed the bar exam. Thus past summer, 75 percent of their graduates taking the exam for the first-time passed. Just the year before only 60 percent passed. Despite this, their enrollment has increased over the past three years, according to Dean Eric Mitnick. The law school has been working to improve their bar prep course, putting greater priority on test-taking and essay-writing skills.

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UMass School of Law did not receive full accreditation from the ABA until December 2016 so their Class of 2017 was the first class to graduate from the fully accredited law school. Mitnick explained, “People are more willing to hire our students.”

UMass School of Law is also a smaller law school, with only 49 graduates last year. Having just a few more students find long-term attorney work makes a big difference in their employment rate.

Northeastern University School of Law had a good year as well. They had a 13 point increase in their employment rate, coming close to beating UMass School of Law. This increase is likely to due to the increase in the number of their graduates that passed the bar exam as well.

The Great-Boston area has seven ABA-accredited law schools. Three of these law schools had small drops in their job-placement rates. Do you think that if law schools get more students passing their bar exam that more of their students will secure full-time legal work? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about the University of Massachusetts School of Law, read these articles:




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