The National Jurist - Back to School 2017 - 12
Pace, Drexel and CUNY have improved their employment
rates the most since 2011. We take a look at what these and
other top schools are doing to help their students land jobs.
By Tyler roBerTs
t was the end of July following her second year of law school. Angelica Cancel's
summer internship at the Manhattan law
office of Fried Frank was nearing its end.
In a few weeks, she would be returning
to Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace
University for her third and final year.
But before she left, her supervisors had
one more thing for her: an offer for fulltime employment after graduation, which
she, of course, accepted.
Landing a Big Law job prior to graduation was no easy feat, Cancel admits.
When she enrolled at Pace University, its
employment rate for recent law school
graduates was only 62 percent, and Pace
is not one of the go-to schools from
which the nation's biggest law firms usually recruit.
"Of course I had concerns," Cancel
said. "I knew that I wanted to get a Big
Law job, and doing that would be an
uphill battle, coming from Pace."
During her first two years, Cancel
worked hard to increase her employability through internships and on-campus
activities. Pace University staff worked
equally as hard to ensure that she and
other students would have good employment opportunities.
They did such a good job, in fact, that
Pace University's employment rate for
recent law school graduates rose from 62
percent to 82 percent while Cancel was at
the school. In five years, it has improved
by more than 28 percent, making it the
most improved school in the nation for
While much of Cancel's success in
securing employment was due to her
strong work ethic and her willingness to
seize new opportunities, she gives much
credit to Pace's career services office.
Through on-campus inter views,
informational meetings and networking
events, Cancel was able to approach new
opportunities confidently and with the
support of law school staff.
"It is so important to develop relationships with faculty and career services,"
Cancel said. "When you are looking for
a job, you want to have people in your
Pace University is not unique in seeing more of its law school graduates find
employment. As the legal market con12
The NaTioNal JurisT
Back to School 2017
tinues to rebound and moves closer to
pre-recession levels, law schools big and
small are bolstering employer outreach
efforts and reconsidering their curricula
to strengthen graduate employability.
Looking at this year's employment statistics to find the most improved employment rates, The National Jurist took into
consideration all forms of post-graduation employment. The employment
rates were weighted, giving the most heft
to full-time jobs that require bar passage. Other jobs, such as J.D.-advantage
jobs and positions in other professions,
received less weight. See the full methodology on page 14.
The nine law schools that top the
most improved list each saw employment
rates increase at least 20 percent during
the past five years. While they did not
have the best employment rates in the
nation, continued improvement in their
employment numbers gave students such
as Cancel a better shot of reaching their
A strengthening legal market may have
given these schools a boost in post-graduation employment numbers. In New