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St. John’s Law Student Employment Outcomes Continue to Rise

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Law School’s graduating class of 2014 had an impressive 90% overall employment rate, as measured by the American Bar Association last month. Marking a steady upward trajectory over the last few years, this was a 4% increase from 2013 and places St. John’s fourth in the state, right behind NYU, Columbia, and Cornell, on this key success measure. On another important employment measure—full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage or for which a J.D. is an advantage—St. John’s Law saw a 7% increase from 67% to 74%.

“Our graduates’ success in the employment market is a testament to the proactive, individualized, and integrated approach to career development that makes St. John’s distinctive,” says Dean Michael A. Simons. “Everyone in the building — faculty, administrators, and staff — is relentlessly focused on preparing our students for their careers and on helping them land that first job. In other words: employment outcomes inform everything we do.”  

Career development infuses the Law School’s offerings from orientation through graduation, ensuring that students aren’t just getting a degree, but are actively forging a path to the profession. From day one, students get support from dedicated career counselors in the Law School’s Career Development Office, who help them identify a career pathway that interests them and pursue related coursework and activities.

The Law School also prepares students for the profession and for career success through:

  • Rigorous classroom teaching and grounding in the fundamentals
  • Faculty members who are experienced practitioners, outstanding scholars, and experts in their fields
  • Extensive skills training in advocacy, negotiation, drafting, mediation, and more
  • 19 clinics and centers that engage students in real-world legal practice and with leading scholars and practitioners
  • A wide range of externship placements
  • Extensive global programs
  • A vast network of dedicated alumni who give back to alma mater generously

The upward trajectory in student employment outcomes is being matched by a rise in another critical success measure: bar exam passage. Ranking fourth overall in the state for the July 2014 test—again just behind NYU, Columbia, and Cornell—St. John’s significantly exceeded the statewide pass rate. “This marks the third consecutive year that the Law School surpassed the statewide average,” Associate Academic Dean Larry Cunningham says. “And, with each year, we’ve widened that achievement gap in our favor.  Particular credit for our graduates’ success on the bar exam goes to Professors Robert A. Ruescher and Erica B. Fine, who teach our Applied Legal Analysis course that provides targeted assistance to students most in need of help on the bar.” 

Other numbers speak for themselves, showing that improved employment and bar pass outcomes are just two of many ways that St. John’s Law is on the rise:

  • One of two law schools in New York where the median LSAT and median GPA went up for the entering class of 2014
  • $6.5 million in record fundraising focused on student scholarships
  • Number one greatest rise out of all law schools nationwide in the 2016 U.S. News Best Law Schools rankings
  • 58 new endowed scholarships established as part of the Brennan Family Scholarship Matching Program
  • 23rd in the nation (and 4th in New York) for most alumni promoted to partner at NLJ 250 law firms in 2014

“Having put this strong foundation in place, the Law School is achieving its strategic vision,” Dean Simons says. “And as we continue to invest our resources in ways that promote quality over quantity, we’ll continue to improve and to thrive, all to the benefit of our students, our alumni, and the profession.”