ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Getting a job fresh out of law school at the University of New Mexico is easier than other schools in the region and some in the nation, especially if you stay in New Mexico, a recent law school ranking report shows.
Eight of 10 graduates in 2014 found jobs after graduating, and 85 percent of those jobs were in the state, according to school data.
Other schools in the Southwest placed between 55 percent and 71 percent of their graduates in jobs. Yale Law School placed only 72 percent of its graduates, according to data from the American Bar Association.
“This means that employers view Lobo alumni as top job candidates. It also means that New Mexico has well-trained representatives to support our communities’ legal needs,” said UNM President Bob Frank. “I’m glad that our School of Law is getting such well-deserved national acclaim.”
A school’s job placement rate is a key part of what national ranking organizations look at to establish how schools compare. UNM’s law school ranked 18th overall in the 2015 Top 50 Law Schools Rankings by Above the Law.
The ATL ranking also looks at the job quality of the jobs secured after graduation to see if the position was for an actual lawyer or, say, a bartender.
Ninety-four percent of the 2014 grads landed positions that required them to have passed the bar exam or for which a law degree is a what the school calls a “distinct advantage”, such as in law enforcement or as a contract administrator.
“I think its very valid to say that compared to our regional competitors, our employment rates for graduates are great,” the school’s communications and marketing manager Tamara Williams said.
She said the state’s strong alumni community, including lawyers and judges, is very engaged with the law school and graduates.
“They are with our students every step of the way, so when it comes to employment, they are there for them,” Williams said.
The school is known for its hands-on clinics in which students get practical experience with practicing lawyers and professors