I think it's justified. Numbers don't lie. These numbers came from the ABA.
Numbers may not lie, but sometimes the truth isn't always clear.
First of all, when it comes to percentages, Davis has Hastings beat. For full-time, long-term jobs requiring passage of bar
Class of 2012: Hastings @ 46.3% vs. Davis @ 61.4%
Class of 2011: Hastings @ 46.5% vs. Davis @ 56.4%
Class of 2010: Hastings @ 52.3% vs. Davis @ 64.9%
Class of 2009: Hastings @ 62% vs. Davis @ 69%*
*Class of 2009 sourced by LST from US News rather than schools and may require additional scrutiny.
Now, the numbers of those employed over those total graduates reporting, from the class of 2012:
Class of 2012: Hastings @ 205/435 (46.3%) vs. Davis @ 125/202 (61.8%)
Unfortunately, I can't find the hard numbers of prior Davis years.
Anyway, yes, Davis has a much larger percentage over Hastings
, but Hastings employed 64% more people in long-term, full-time legal jobs than Davis in 2012
During this same year, Hastings enrolled 317 1Ls, 27% fewer students than those graduating. We know that attrition exists, but for the sake of this thread, let's pretend that in 2016, 317 3Ls graduate. If the average number from 2011 (191) and 2012 (205), 198, find long-term, full-time legal jobs, then that would put the percentage at 62.4%. This, of course, is theoretical optimism. How about if only 46% of the graduates find these jobs? That's 145. If we average those? About 172, or 54.2%.
The fact is, Hastings has become more selective. Hard numbers cannot tell the whole story, and there are so many variables we just don't and can't know. Think of everything the administrations at both schools know! Of course Hastings is trying to reposition itself after some disappointing percentages in the last few years.
However, if you want safe employment numbers, limit yourself to the schools with the vast majority employed, which, I would argue, include neither Hastings nor Davis. With the numbers we have evaluated, it is easy to forget about those Hastings grads employed and those Davis grads unemployed, or where those employed went and continued lives in the field of law, or how they are using the J.D. their jobs require (e.g. lawyer vs. clerkship).
Here is a list, drawn from LST, in descending order, of schools ranked using employment parameters: http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/04/a-cleaner-ranking-of-schools-long-term-full-time-employment-minus-law-school-funded-jobs.html
Or, here, I'll save you some time:
2. UC Berkeley
3. UC Davis
4. UC Hastings
5. Santa Clara University
6. McGeorge (University of the Pacific)
7. University of San Francisco
8. Golden Gate University
Perhaps someone has information regarding Bay Area law firms and the schools from which their lawyers graduated from?