rayiner wrote:Since you use Northwestern as an example: the school publishes quite detailed salary statistics: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/career/statistics/
For C/O 2011, which had 287 graduates:
126 (44%) reported a salary of $160k+
45 (16%) reported a salary of $100k-$160k.
Of the rest (note that this group is disjoint from the previous group since none of these jobs pay $100k+):
23 (8%) got a federal clerkship (these folks could have gotten big law)
13 (5%) got government or public interest (these people mostly could have gotten big law)
So I think Desert Fox's 75% figure is pretty on-point. Note the data is from 2011, at the depth of the recession. C/O 2012 and C/O 2013 have been substantially better nation-wide, but I don't think Northwestern improved very much, because it got hit a lot less hard in 2011 than many of the other lower-T14.
As for the comment about what the rest do--it really is highly bi-modal. I'm in the 3L class, and people who didn't get big law or a clerkship are having trouble.
In the 2011 data, 14% of the class did not have a permanent, full-time position after 9 months. Another 7% of the class ended up taking a small-firm job (< 50 attorneys). While some small firms pay decent money, I think it's safe to say that most people in this category are not. The salary reporting statistics tell the story. 64% of the class ended up at firms. For the 89% of them that ended up at firms > 50 attorneys, the salary reporting rate was 98%. For the other 11%, it was 50%. People making low salaries are dramatically less likely to report, and that's very obvious here.
So once you add up the people who got big law, a clerkship, or a public interest/government job, along with the people who don't have permanent, full-time work, and the people working at small firms for (probably) low pay, you've accounted for nearly the whole class.
Thanks, this was the kind of comprehensive response I was hoping for. I just wasn't sure how much I could believe the numbers they were publishing. What school are you at if you don't mind me asking?
I also was unsure how to view government and PI jobs. Are these just people who couldn't get in elsewhere or are they the opposite, because government jobs (in Canada) are just as if not more competitive in general than private sector jobs.
So what kind of money are the under 50 attorneys students making after grad.