Legal job market remains unequal for US graduates of colour, first-gen college students: NALP report

Findings come amid a record job market for Class of 2022 law graduates

Legal job market remains unequal for US graduates of colour, first-gen college students: NALP report

Despite a record-shattering employment market for the Class of 2022 law graduates in the US, including the highest employment rate in 35 years, disparities in employment outcomes by race/ ethnicity and level of parental education persist.

New employment findings by the National Association for Law Placement reveal that graduates of colour and first-generation college students experience lower levels of employment in legal positions. White graduates had the highest employment rate (93.4%) while Native American and Alaska Native graduates had the lowest employment rate (86.5%), followed by Black graduates (89.2%)

Graduates of colour were also less likely to be employed in judicial clerkships as compared to white graduates, and employment rates within private practice continued to be lower for Black, Native American, and other marginalized groups.

Similarly, first-generation college students were employed in judicial clerkships and private practice at lower rates than their continuing-generation college and JD student peers. The employment rate was more than three percentage points higher (95.5% vs. 92.1%) for continuing-generation JD students.

NALP’s 49th consecutive edition of its Jobs & JDs, Employment and Salaries of New Law Graduates, Class of 2022 report presents a comprehensive analysis of the types of employment and salaries obtained by recent graduates, with data on more than 97% of Class of 2022 graduates from American Bar Association-accredited law schools.

“The persistent disparities we see in the employment outcomes for graduates of colour underscore the need for all legal employers to stand firm on their DEI commitments,” said Nikia Gray, NALP’s executive director.

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