Calculate our employment rate any way you choose. You can select one of the Preset Formulas from the list below or create your own formula by checking the individual categories you would like to include or exclude from the calculation. Why is our Employment Rate Calculator helpful?

To calculate and compare employment rates for other law schools, check out Law Jobs: By the Numbers™ at Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers.

Year:

Preset Formulas:
Include:
Bar Passage Required [?]
These jobs require bar admission and involve the practice of law. Unless you are interested only in non-legal employment (e.g., you do not plan on taking the bar), you should include these jobs in your formula. All entities that calculate employment rates including law schools, the National Association for Law Placement, US News, National Jurist and Law School Transparency count these jobs in their employment rate formulas. Please note, however, that weighted formulas such as the current US News ranking formula and National Jurist assign different weights to these jobs depending on their term.

JD Advantage [?]
According to the American Bar Association: "A position in this category is one for which the employer sought an individual with a JD, and perhaps even required a JD, or for which the JD provided a demonstrable advantage in obtaining or performing the job, but itself does not require bar passage, an active law license, or involve practicing law." Include these jobs if you believe that obtaining such a job might be of interest to you. US News and the National Association for Law Placement also include these positions in their employment calculations. Law School Transparency is the only entity that excludes these jobs from their formula as they view a "mixed" employment rate that includes "alternative career" positions as not useful to people interested solely in either legal careers or in careers outside the law.

We include JD Advantage jobs in our employment rate at DU because many of our graduates seek such jobs and find them fulfilling. In our experience, many prospective law students are interested in a wide range of careers and we believe it is useful for our employment rate to reflect the full range of professional employment outcomes obtained by our JD graduates. Including these jobs allows our employment rate to reflect the full range of employment opportunities available to JD graduates.

Other Professional [?]
According to the American Bar Association: "A position in this category is one that requires professional skills or training but for which a JD is neither required nor a demonstrable advantage." Include these jobs if you believe that obtaining such a job might be of interest to you. US News and the National Association for Law Placement also include these positions in their employment calculations. Law School Transparency is the only entity that excludes these jobs from their formula as they view a "mixed" employment rate that includes "alternative career" positions as not useful to people interested solely in either legal careers or in careers outside the law.

We include these jobs in our employment rate because many of our graduates seek such jobs and find them fulfilling. In our experience, many prospective law students are interested in a wide range of careers. Finally, while a law degree may not be directly relevant to jobs that fall into the Other Professional category, in a broader sense, legal training enhances skills that are relevant to a variety of professional careers, such as research, writing, analysis, judgment, and effective communication.

Non-Professional [?]
According to the American Bar Association: "A position in this category is one that does not require any special professional skills or training." Include these jobs if you believe that obtaining such a job might be of interest to you or if you want to see an employment rate that includes all jobs obtained by our graduates. US News and the National Association for Law Placement include these positions in their employment calculations. Law School Transparency is the only entity that excludes these jobs from their formula as they view a "mixed" employment rate that includes "alternative career" positions as not useful to people interested solely in either legal careers or in careers outside the law.

We exclude Non-Professional jobs from our employment rate because, while we think that there are a broad set of jobs that are valuable for law graduates (including Bar Passage Required, JD Advantage, and Other Professional), jobs in the Non-Professional category do not seem to us like a good outcome from law school. Additionally, such jobs do not seem inherently promising as springboards to better jobs. However, we understand that graduates take these positions for a variety of reasons, sometimes by choice. So those who are interested in an employment rate that includes non-professional jobs can easily use our calculator to include those jobs.
Long Term [?]
These are jobs with defined terms of at least one year or that are of indefinite duration. Unless you are interested only in short-term employment, you should include these jobs in your formula. All entities that calculate employment rates including law schools, the National Association for Law Placement, US News, National Jurist, and Law School Transparency count these jobs in their employment rate formulas. Please note, however, that weighted formulas such as the current US News formula and National Jurist assign different weights to long term jobs for different employment types. Law School Transparency includes these jobs only if they are full time and Bar Required.

Short Term [?]
Include short term jobs if you prefer a more comprehensive employment rate that includes jobs of all durations. Short term jobs frequently serve as springboards to long term employment. The National Association for Law Placement includes these positions in their employment calculation as did the previous version of US News’s formula, which applied to the classes of 2009 and 2010. Currently, US News does not count short term jobs in its publicly available Ranking Table. Moreover, while US News appears to include at least some short term jobs in the current formula it uses to rank law schools, it does not indicate how much weight is assigned to them. Law School Transparency excludes these jobs from their formula as they view graduates in short term jobs to be underemployed.

Full Time [?]
These are jobs that are 35 or more hours per week. Unless you are interested only in part-time employment, you should include these jobs in your formula. All organizations that calculate employment rates including law schools, the National Association for Law Placement, US News, National Jurist, and Law School Transparency count these jobs in their employment rate formulas. Please note, however, that weighted formulas such as the current US News formula and National Jurist assign different weights to long term jobs for different employment types. Law School Transparency includes these jobs only if they are long term and Bar Required.

Part Time [?]
Include part time jobs if you prefer a more comprehensive employment rate that includes both full and part time jobs. Part Time positions frequently serve as springboards to Full Time employment. The National Association for Law Placement includes these positions in their employment calculation as did the previous version of US News’s formula, which applied to the classes of 2009 and 2010. Currently, US News does not count part time jobs in its publicly available Ranking Table. Moreover, while US News appears to include at least some part time jobs in the current formula it uses to rank law schools, it does not indicate how much weight is assigned to them. Law School Transparency excludes these jobs from their formula as they view graduates in part time jobs to be underemployed.

Exclude:
Exclude School Funded [?]

These jobs are funded by the university or its donors. Include school funded positions if you are interested in a more comprehensive employment rate and/or if you view school funded positions as potential stepping stones to permanent employment. School Funded Positions frequently serve as springboards to other legal jobs. Exclude school funded jobs if you are interested only in jobs funded by outside employers.

At DU, these jobs are generally Judicial Fellowships (clerkship-type work for judges), Faculty Fellowships (research-assistant work for professors), and Fellowships in in-house legal departments.


Exclude Solo Practitioners [?]

Exclude solo practitioners if you do not consider self-employment as a meaningful part of a law school's employment rate. Likewise, remove solo practitioners if you assume that solo practice is not a viable option for any new graduate. All organizations that calculate employment rates except Law School Transparency count these jobs in their employment rate formulas.

We include solo practitioners in our formula because our solo practitioners are undeniably engaged in the full time practice of law and could not do so without their law degree.


Exclude Employment Status Unknown [?]

Exclude graduates whose employment status is unknown if you want to treat them as neither employed nor unemployed. Law School Transparency, US News's current and previous formulas, and National Jurist all assume that graduates whose employment status is unknown are unemployed.

Like the National Association of Law Placement, our formula takes the graduates we cannot locate out of the equation, thereby treating them neither as employed nor unemployed. We believe that this is the most accurate treatment of this small number of graduates.


Exclude Start Date Deferred [?]

These are graduates who had job offers on February 15, 2012, but whose jobs were scheduled to start after that date. (February 15, 2012 is the date on which employment status for the class of 2011 is measured.) Exclude these start-date-deferred graduates if you want to count them as not looking for employment. The formulas employed by LST, NALP, and US News include these students in the denominator of their formula, while excluding them from the numerator (since they do not have jobs on the date in question), thereby counting them as unemployed – and as if they were unsuccessfully looking for work. These organizations assume that if the graduate could find work before the measuring date, he or she would do so.

We believe it is better to remove our small number of deferred graduates from the employment rate equation. As a practical matter, these individuals were not in the job market because they had job opportunities in hand.


Exclude Unemployed--Not Seeking [?]

These are graduates who affirmatively indicated that they were not seeking employment (e.g., they were caring for children full-time, or doing some other activity outside of the labor market). Exclude these not-seeking graduates if you do not want to count them as unemployed. The formulas employed by LST, NALP, and US News count as unemployed graduates who were not seeking employment. These organizations assume that the only reason someone with a JD would not seek employment is because they were discouraged by their prospects of employment.

We exclude those who were not seeking employment from our employment rate because we consider them not in the workforce. (This is the same convention used by the U.S. Department of Labor in calculating unemployment rates.)


Exclude Pursuing Graduate Degree Full Time [?]

These are graduates who are enrolled full-time in post-JD degree programs (e.g., an LLM program). Exclude these degree-seeking graduates if you believe that they are not looking for work because they are seeking a graduate degree that they believe is valuable. The formulas employed by LST, NALP, and US News count as unemployed graduates who were enrolled in full time degree programs. These organizations assume that the only reason someone with a JD would pursue a graduate degree would be if they could not find work.

Like National Jurist, we exclude full time degree seekers from our calculation because we consider them to be outside the workforce as they have chosen to enroll in an academic program rather than to seek employment (and that they have chosen to enroll in such a program because they believe there is value in it, and not because they have no other choices).


Bar Passage Required
FT LT
Excl. Solo
Excl. Law Funded
FT ST
Excl. Law Funded
PT LT
PT ST
Excl. Law Funded
JD Advantage
FT LT
FT ST
Excl. Law Funded
PT LT
PT ST
Excl. Law Funded
Professional Position
FT LT
FT ST
PT LT
PT ST
Non- Professional Position
FT LT
FT ST
PT LT
PT ST
=
All Graduates
Exclude Employment Status Unknown
Exclude Start Date Deferred
Exclude Unemployed-Not Seeking
Exclude Pursuing Graduate Degree Full Time

Legend:

FTFull TimePTPart Time
LTLong TermSTShort Term

To see our ABA Required Disclosures, see our ABA Disclosures page.


Have an employment rate formula you would like to suggest to us? Create your own formula using the checkboxes above or select one of the Preset Formulas and then click here.

Tell us why you like your formula.



Why is our Employment Rate Calculator helpful?

In recent years, the accuracy and transparency of data on graduates' employment outcomes has understandably come under increased scrutiny. We take pride in presenting employment data that is not only accurate, but completely transparent. (See more information on our commitment to the accuracy and transparency of our data).

While there is no substitute for a careful review of our raw employment data, we understand that many people, including prospective law students, like to see a law school's employment data presented in the form of an employment rate. That said, there are a variety of ways to calculate a law school's employment rate. For example, what types of jobs should be included in calculating an employment rate? Who should count as looking for a job?

In the interest of complete transparency we are providing you with an interactive tool to help you calculate our employment rate in any way you choose. We present our employment rate based on our employment formula but we also give you the ability to calculate our rate using formulas that are commonly applied by organizations such as Law School Transparency (LST), the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), and US News & World Report. Using this tool, you can even develop your own employment formula. Finally, we describe the basic strengths and limitations of different employment formulas.

Finally, while employment rates are a useful tool, we acknowledge that they do not tell the whole story of an individual’s job prospects at any particular law school. We encourage prospective law students to ask law schools about their employment outcomes and the career services they provide.

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Formula Descriptions

Denver Law Formula

We believe our formula most accurately reflects the professional employment rate of our graduates known to be in the workforce. We calculate the percentage of graduates employed 9 months after graduation by dividing the total number of JD graduates employed in Professional Positions by the total number of JD graduates who were in the job market. Professional positions include jobs requiring bar admission ("Bar Required"), where the JD provides an advantage ("JD Advantage"), and other positions that require professional skills or training. We do not include non-professional jobs in our formula, as we believe that these do not reflect the types of outcomes most of our graduates were looking for when they came to law school. Similar to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, we exclude from our employment rate calculation those graduates who were not in the workforce. Therefore, graduates not seeking employment (including those with deferred offers) and those pursuing full time degrees are not included in the denominator of our formula.

The formula we use to calculate our rate is as follows:

All JD Graduates Employed in Any Professional Capacity (Legal, Nonlegal, Professional, Full Time, Part Time, Long Term and Short Term Positions)


All JD Graduates - (minus)

Graduates Not Seeking Employment;
Graduates Enrolled in a Full Time Degree Program;
Graduates with Deferred Job Offers; and
Graduates Whose Status is Unknown

We encourage you to look at our employment rate and the raw data we provide to gain a clear picture of the employment outcomes obtained by our graduates as of 9 months after graduation.

Our employment calculation starts from the premise that there is value in a broad range of jobs. Not all students enter law school planning to practice law and law graduates find satisfying employment in a wide range of professional settings. Therefore, in addition to bar admission required positions, we include JD advantage and Other Professional positions in our calculation. Likewise, in addition to full time and long term jobs, we include part time and short term jobs not only because the graduates who hold them are employed, but also because these positions are often springboards into full employment, especially in today's challenging job market. For the same reasons, we also include positions funded by the university (primarily comprised of graduates participating in our Judicial and Faculty Fellow programs).

We have excluded the small number of nonprofessional positions accepted by our graduates (7 for the class of 2011 and 6 for the class of 2012), as we believe that those positions do not reflect the career paths that draw most students to law school. In past years, like most schools, and consistent with ABA reporting standards, we included nonprofessional positions in our employment rate. However, we consider our new formula to be more appropriate and more consistent with our students’ professional goals.

Our formula provides the best assessment of the professional employment rate of our graduates who were actually in the job market, but people who wish to focus on a narrower range of job types should apply a different formula.

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National Jurist

In its employment rate formula, National Jurist assigns specific “weights” to different job types, effectively valuing some jobs more than others. Full time, long term jobs that require bar passage are the only positions that are given full weight. All other jobs are assigned less weight as follows:

  • Bar Passage Required: Full-time, Long Term is counted at 100%
  • Bar Passage Required: Full-time, Short Term 70%
  • JD Advantage: Full-time, Long Term 70%
  • Professional position: Full-time, Long Term 60%
  • Bar Passage Required: Part-time, Long Term 50%
  • JD Advantage: Part-time, Long Term 40%
  • JD Advantage: Full-time, Short Term 40%
  • Bar Passage Required: Part-Time, Short Term 30%
  • Professional position: Part-time, Long Term 30%
  • Professional position: Full-time, Short Term 30%
  • JD Advantage: Part-Time, Short Term 10%
  • Non-Professional position: Full-time, Long Term 10%
  • All other categories received no value

National Jurist multiplies the number of students employed in each category by the percentages assigned to each category. Then, they add up the total and divide by the number of JD graduates minus the number seeking further education. (In your custom formula, you can assign your own weights.)

Sum of all Jobs (applying assigned weights)


All JD Graduates – (minus) Graduates Seeking Further Education

This formula is useful for those who agree with the values assigned to different job categories by National Jurist. In the denominator, this formula addresses graduates who are not looking for work for one reason (to pursue further education), but it does not account for graduates who are out of the workforce for other reasons—e.g. unemployed graduates not seeking employment, and graduates not seeking employment because they have a deferred offer. Nor does it exclude from the calculation those graduates whose employment status is unknown.

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Law School Transparency Formula

Law School Transparency calculates an "Employment Score" for each law school. The LST Employment Score counts only bar admission required, full time, long-term positions (with the exception of solo practitioners, which LST excludes) and is calculated as follows:

All JD Graduates Employed in Bar Passage Required Jobs - (minus)

Part-Time Jobs;
Short-Term Jobs; and
Solo Practitioners


All JD Graduates

LST asserts that its "Employment Score reflects employment outcomes that proxy a successful start to a legal career." Thus, they exclude JD advantage and Other Professional positions from their Employment Score. LST does not count graduates working in part-time and short-term positions because they consider these graduates to be underemployed. They exclude non-professional positions for the same reason. Finally, they remove solo practitioners on the assumption that "starting a sustainable practice shortly after graduating law school is unlikely."

While LST's Employment Score reflects the percentage of a law school's graduates who are employed in full time, non-solo legal positions, it does not account for the full range of professional employment opportunities that are available to law graduates. Moreover, it does not acknowledge the value of part time and short term positions as stepping stones to more permanent employment, especially in today's job market. Moreover, LST's Employment Score does not account for graduates who have stepped out of the workforce for any number of reasons—e.g. pursuing a full time degree, not seeking employment and deferred offers. Nor does it exclude from the calculation those graduates whose employment status is unknown.

For a more detailed explanation of LST's methodology, see their website.

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Current US News Formula (applied to class of 2011)

In its most recent edition, US News refers to two formulas: one that is published and one that is used in calculating its law school rankings. US News has not disclosed its ranking formula. So Law Jobs provides the formula that US News used in its published rankings tables. This formula divides the total number of full time, long term Bar Admission Required and JD Advantage jobs by the total number of JD graduates in a school’s graduating class.

Number of Full Time, Long Term Bar Admission Required Jobs + Number of Full Time, Long Term JD Advantage Jobs


All JD Graduates

This formula is useful for those interested only in the percentage of graduates employed in Full Time, Long Term Bar Admission Required and JD Advantage jobs. For those who believe that the only acceptable outcome from law school is a Bar Admission Required job, this formula might be over-inclusive, since it counts JD Advantage jobs. For those who believe that there is value in professional, or even non-professional jobs, this formula might be under-inclusive, since it does not include either of those job categories. Similarly, for those who believe that there is value in part-time or temporary jobs (if, for example, you believe that such jobs can be valuable stepping stones on a path to other jobs), this formula might be under-inclusive, since it does not include those types of jobs. In the denominator, this formula does not account for graduates who have stepped out of the workforce for any number of reasons—e.g. graduates pursuing a full time degree, graduates not seeking employment, and graduates not seeking employment because they have a deferred offer. Nor does it exclude from the calculation those graduates whose employment status is unknown.

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Old US News Formula (applied to classes of 2009 and 2010)

Over the years, US News has changed its employment rate formula from time to time. Prior to its most recent rankings, for the classes of 2009 and 2010, US News calculated employment rates by dividing the total number of graduates with employment of any kind by the total number of JD Graduates:

All JD Graduates Employed in any Capacity (Legal, Non-legal, Professional, Nonprofessional, Full Time, Part Time, Long Term and Short Term Positions)


All JD Graduates

For those who believe that not all job categories or job types are good outcomes, this formula might be over-inclusive, as it includes all job categories and job types – including non-professional, and part-time and temporary jobs. This formula is useful for those interested in the basic percentage of graduates employed in any capacity. In the denominator, this formula does not account for graduates who have stepped out of the workforce for any number of reasons—e.g. graduates pursuing a full time degree, graduates not seeking employment and graduates not seeking employment because they have a deferred offer. Nor does it exclude from the calculation those graduates whose employment status is unknown.

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National Association for Law Placement Formula

NALP calculates a law school's employment rate by dividing the total number of graduates with employment of any kind by the total number of JD Graduates whose status is known:

All JD Graduates Employed in any Capacity (Legal, Non-legal, Professional, Nonprofessional, Full Time, Part Time, Long Term and Short Term Positions)


All JD Graduates - (minus) Graduates Whose Status is Unknown

This formula is useful for those interested in the basic percentage of graduates whose status is known that are employed in any capacity. However, it does not account for graduates who have stepped out of the workforce for any number of reasons—e.g. graduates pursuing a full time degree, graduates not seeking employment, and graduates not seeking employment because they have a deferred offer.

For further information on NALP's formula, see NALP's Methodology for Calculating Graduate Employment Rate.

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