Law Students

Law Schools Where the Most Graduates Get BigLaw Jobs
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If you’re a Type A law student who wishes to embark upon a career path that will get you in on the ground floor at a large firm and pad your wallet, then you’ll most likely want to compete for a position at a BigLaw firm.

Given the ‘unbreakable bond’ between top tier law schools and BigLaw, the odds of scoring an associate position in a prestigious law firm would be in your favor, if you attend a Tier 1 law school.

According to the annual Go-To Law Schools list created by for the class of 2019, Columbia Law School is the ultimate golden ticket for a BigLaw firm.


According to the data gathered by, Columbia Law for the seventh straight year sent more graduates into associate jobs at the country’s largest 100 law firms than any other law school.

Some 70% of 2019 graduates are now working as associates at BigLaw firms. On the heels of Columbia Law, The University of Pennsylvania Law School reserves the second place by sending 58% of graduates to the largest firms, followed by New York University School of Law at 56%. Rounding out the top five are Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law at No. 4 with a BigLaw placement rate of 55% and the University of Virginia School of Law at No. 5 with 53% of the 2019 class heading to large firms.

While Columbia’s placement rate for the class of 2019 was 12 percent higher than any other school, there is a slight drop for the school from 2018, when 71% of graduates headed to a BigLaw firm. 

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This year’s report illustrates how large law firms tend to rely on the same feeder schools over time, with relatively small adjustments. The data also shows that 2019 was a great year for Juris Doctors from top law schools. The number of 2019 law grads hired as associates by the largest 100 firms increased slightly in 2019 to 4,423.

Moreover, according to many career services deans, the class of 2019 likely represents a high mark in BigLaw hiring.

The associates hired in large firms went through the summer associate recruiting process in 2017, which was a great year regarding firm recruiting.

According to the data gathered by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), some of the BigLaw firms have since contracted the size of their summer associate classes, meaning the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 are likely to have lower BigLaw placement rates.

Many law schools have increased their class sizes, which will additionally drive down the rate of graduates securing a position at large firms.

While the top five law schools on the list remained unchanged since 2018, the remainder of the top 10 saw slight changes. The University of Chicago Law School climbed up three spots to 6th place, with a 51% BigLaw placement rate. The University of California, Berkeley School of Law ticked up for two spots to No. 8 and saw the percentage of graduates in large firm associate jobs surge from 42% in 2018 to 49% in 2019. Cornell Law School plunged three spots to No. 9 with large law firm placement rate of 49%, while Harvard moved down two spots to No. 10.

Brooklyn Law School made the single-largest jump on this year’s list, picking up 15 spots to land at No. 32. Its placement rate was helped by graduating fewer students in 2019, by a robust legal job market and by the school’s strong academic program.

Click here to see the rest of the law schools with the highest percentage of graduates employed in Biglaw jobs.



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