How many UF students are finding paid work for 1L & 2L summers? Apx how many 3L's have work lined up at graduation?
And can you give a conservative estimate of a typical starting salary for grads (not big law)? I asked the same question of a friend of mine who is a 3L at FSU and he said that it would be rare to find a grad making even 45k out, saying that 40k was more typical... would you say the same for UF?
Any UF Law students with insight on this, definitely provide your $.02
Paid work for 1L at UF, like nearly any school, is rare. It's difficult to find paid 1L jobs, but they do exist. I'd say I knew about 10 people with paid 1L jobs, some with firms, in-house with corporations, etc. I can't give you an exact number, but I imagine it's about 10-20 per year with paid 1L jobs. The pay rate varies and very few get jobs with firms (although there are definitely people who get firm jobs during their first summer).
I can't tell you exactly the number of 2Ls getting work. What I can tell you is that every firm that comes to OCI hires at least 1 UF student for the summer. I don't know of any firm that comes to OCI and doesn't take anyone, although there may be one or two. Some take 2-3, or more. So, I'd imagine that, through the entirety of OCI, around 40-50 people get hired (this might be an exaggeration, I am not really sure). Others get work outside of OCI, through networking or otherwise. I'm not going to sugarcoat it, though, there are a significant number of students during 2L who are either employed in externships or other non-paid positions. There are also those who don't get anything at all. The NLJ Go-To Law Schools list has us pegged at under 6% employed at NLJ 250 firms for 2011, which isn't surprising due to the significant number of strong regional firms that hire from UF, and the fact that 2009 OCI was a blood bath. Both 2010 and 2011 have been stronger, and the numbers will reflect that in the coming years.
As for 3Ls, I know a significant number of people with work lined up. Between clerkships, law firms, and everything else, I think I would estimate I know over 50 people with something lined up after graduation. I have no idea how many people actually have jobs. Last year a lot of people struggled, but many ended up okay. Obviously, there are people who are still searching. Some people graduate and give up law all together. I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you that if you network, work hard, and have a little luck, you're likely to find something (though it may not be your ideal fit or first choice).
Salaries run the gamut. If you get employed by a big law firm, you're looking at anywhere from 85-160k. I'd say the average is about 125k, though it varies (i.e. firms pay less in Tampa than they do in Miami). Outside of that, it is really going to depend where you are working. Federal clerks make about 60k. Prosecutors/public defenders make something like 40k. I can't really speak for any specific small law firms, but I imagine anywhere from 40 to 75k (maybe more, maybe less, depending on the location of the firm/partners/business/etc). It's sort of hard to generalize with small firms.
Hope this was somewhat helpful.