Data Tracker

One in six recent California law school grads can't find jobs

By Phillip Reese

The job market for California law school graduates remains brutal, even as law school tuition rises to new heights.

About 16 percent of 2012 graduates from California law schools were unemployed and looking for work nine months after graduation, according to new data from the American Bar Association.

Many others were underemployed. Only half of law school graduates held full-time jobs requiring a law degree, the data show.

Tuition at the state's law schools ranges from $38,000 to $50,000 a year.

Globalization - many companies now outsource legal work abroad to save money - and the last economic downturn help explain the poor job numbers.

The surest way to guarantee a job after graduation continues to be attendance at a top-tier law school like Stanford or UC Berkeley. By comparison, those who graduate in the bottom half of their class from a lesser-known school have the most problems.

These charts show the unemployment rate among 2012 California law school graduates nine months after graduation, and the percentage of graduates working a full-time job that requires a law degree.