Most students come to law school to get a full time job as a lawyer. Eighty percent of the University of New Mexico School of Law Class of 2014 are employed in full time, long term positions requiring passage of the bar examination, well above the national rate of 60 percent. This is the third year in a row that the UNM School of Law has surpassed the national employment rate in this key metric by more than 12 percent.
UNM School of Law graduates also had better success than many recent law graduates across the country, surpassing Yale's employment outcomes and those of peer schools in the Southwest.
Full Time, Long Term Bar Passage Required Employment Outcomes for 2014 Graduates
|No. of Graduates||Grads Employed||Employment Rate|
|Yale Law School||230||167||72.61%|
|University of Denver (Sturm)||277||155||55.9%|
|University of Colorado - Boulder||165||115||55.96%|
|Arizona State University (O'Connor)||198||141||71.21%|
|University of Utah (Quinney)||123||82||66.67%|
|Texas Tech University||213||129||60.6%|
|UNM School of Law||111||89||80.18%|
Mirroring the school's admission policies, most graduates stay in New Mexico. For the class of 2014 that rate is 85 percent.
Heather Harrigan, assistant sean of Student & Career Services, said, “In addition to having a smaller class size and higher employment rates than other law schools in the Southwest, the law school has a very active connection to the bench and bar, offering students opportunities for collaboration, training and employment.”
From their very first semester of law school, the Office of Student and Career Services works to help students imagine, plan and start their career.
Throughout their experience at the UNM School of Law, students take classes that focus on developing their professional competencies. “Students also are supported by faculty and alumni who are devoted to our students’ success, which contribute to our very strong employment rates. The strength of this professional network is unlike any other I have encountered and I believe is tied to the important public mission of the school,” said Harrigan.
The UNM Law School is also very successful in helping graduates secure JD advantage positions – jobs for which bar passage is not required but for which a JD degree provides a distinct advantage. Of the 111 graduates in the Class of 2014, 104 secured positions that were either bar passage required or JD advantage positions.
For the UNM School of Law Class of 2014, the rate for all types of employment (bar passage required, JD advantage, non-professional and part time) is 95 percent, 11 percent higher than the national rate.
Lila Jones, who graduated from the UNM Law School in May 2015, competed against almost 400 applicants for 15 slots in the Environmental Division of the Department of Justice. She was successful, and in September, she will start her new position as a DOJ Honors Program Attorney.
"Aside from excellent course instruction from the Natural Resources and Environmental Law Program at UNM, I received individualized mentorship from many of the faculty,” said Jones. “The Office of Student & Career Services at the law school was also a strong ally in my employment search. Every step of the way I received guidance and support, and when I learned about my job offer, they celebrated with me too.”
Jones says that when she was interviewing for full-time positions, she “quickly learned that UNM School of Law has a great reputation both within and outside New Mexico.”
Mirroring the school’s admission policies, most UNM Law School graduates stay in New Mexico (85 percent for the Class of 2014). The second largest market last year was Washington, D.C.