The best law schools for making money

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The best law schools for making money

After having released a ranking based on inaccurate data two weeks ago, Forbes published a new and improved list of the best law schools for earning the biggest paychecks.

Earlier this month, Forbes published a ranking of the law schools whose graduates made the highest starting salaries.

If you thought the list was a bit weird, you were actually right : it turned out that the data they used (coming from was flawed. There were several inaccuracies in the numbers, and the University of Pennsylvania was mistakenly omitted in the top tier.

Below is the new and improved ranking, with salary data coming directly from law schools. The figures are for students who graduated in 2013, unless specified otherwise.

At the top of the list, 10 schools have the same starting salary of $160,000. They are ranked in order of response rate and in the two cases where there are ties, in order of the percentage of the class who is employed. Anyway, it is quite obvious that a diploma from any of these schools will almost surely guarantee a high-paying job.

1. University of Chicago Law School ($160,000)
Class size: 215, Employed: 209
Number reporting salary: 202 (97%)

2. Columbia Law School ($160,000)
Class size: 437, Employed: 425
Number reporting salary: 419 (96%)

3. Northwestern University School of Law ($160,000)
Class size: 284, Employed: 268
Number reporting salary: 256 (96%)

4. Harvard Law School ($160,000)
Class size: 578, Employed: 556
Number reporting salary: 548 (95%)

5.  New York University School of Law ($160,000)
Class size: 537, Employed: 514
Number reporting salary: 504 (94%)

6.  Stanford Law School ($160,000)
Class size: 194, Employed: 186
Number reporting salary:  179 (92%)

7. Duke University School of Law ($160,000)
Class size: 241 , Employed: 225
Number reporting salary: 222 (92%)

8. University of Pennsylvania Law School ($160,000)
Class size: 259, Employed: 252
Number reporting salary: 235 (91%)

9. University of California at Berkeley School of Law (class of 2012) ($160,000)
Class size: 312, Employed: 295
Number reporting salary: 261 (84%)

10. University of Virginia School of Law ($117,500)
Class size: 364, Employed: 356
Number reporting salary: 348 (98%)
Note: Virginia places high because of the impressive number of grads who report their salaries. The school’s median private sector salary is $160,000.

11. Georgetown University Law School ($160,000)
Class size: 626, Employed: 578
Number reporting salary: 332 (53%)

12. Cornell University Law School (Private sector: $160,000 ; Public service: $60,742)
Class size: 193, Employed: 178
Note: According to Law School Transparency, among the class of 2010, 68% of graduates reported salaries.

13. University of Southern California Gould School of Law (class of 2012) ($145,000)
Class size: 221, Employed: 189
Number reporting salary: 118 (53%)

14. George Washington University Law School ($137,500)
Class size: 575, Employed: 546
Number reporting salary: 242 (42%)

15. University of Michigan Law School (class of 2012) ($132,500)
Class size: 388, Employed: 355
Number reporting salary: 282 (73%)

Note : Yale (ranked N.1 by US News World & Report) was moved ahead of the top of the list « because of its high response rate, 89%, and the fact that 87 grads out of a class of 222 are working in prestigious but low-paying judicial clerkships where the median salary is only $57,408. Those lawyers are nearly guaranteed high-paying private sector jobs if they choose to go that route. Arguably Yale should be in the top 10, though, strictly speaking, this is a list of starting salaries.»

To see Forbes article & full ranking, click here

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