ABA: About half of 2011 law grads found law work

According to new American Bar Association information, only 55 percent of law school graduates in 2011 were able to obtain full-time, permanent employment in a law job within nine months of graduation.

For years, the ABA didn’t require schools to break down their information, allowing them to get by with simply reporting that a student was employed, without divulging to what extent.

The top schools are the usual suspects: University of Virginia, Harvard, etc. But 20 schools reported less than 40 percent of graduates were able to obtain full-time, permanent law jobs.

Two of those schools are University of Detroit-Mercy Law School and the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. U-DM Law had the lowest figure in the state with only 36.84 percent of its 209 graduates able to find full time work. Cooley reported that 37.54 percent of its 999 graduates able to find jobs requiring a law degree. Cooley reported that 26.33 percent of its graduates’ employment status was unknown, an astonishingly high figure in comparison to the other schools’ reporting.

The University of Michigan had the highest rate among Michigan schools, with 75.46 percent of its graduates being able to find jobs, the 13th best nationwide.

Wayne State University Law School was a distant second with a 50.74 percent of its 203 graduates finding work, about four percent off the national average.

Michigan State University School of Law was third with a rate of 44.17 percent of 283 graduates able to find work.

That’s an awful lot of student loans in deferment.

[This post was corrected to remove a statement that Cooley’s numbers could be lower. As pointed out in the comments, the “unknown” graduates are assumed to be unemployed for the purposes of these statistics.]

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Federal judge speaks to Wayne grads; Stupak joins D.C. firm

Here’s a roundup of upcoming legal events and people of note:

• The Hon. Avern Cohn of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan will speak at Wayne State University Law School’s annual commencement ceremony.

Cohn also will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at the ceremony, which takes place 5 p.m. May 16 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

“I am deeply honored to join the past recipients of an honorary degree from the Law School, to wit: Eugene Driker, Dennis Archer, Maura D. Corrigan, Marilyn Kelly and Harold Koh,” Cohn said.

Admission to the commencement is by ticket only. For more information, contact the Law School’s Dean of Students Office at (313) 577-3997 or lawdso@wayne.edu.

• Former nine-term Congressman Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, who played a lead role in passage of the landmark health care legislation of 2010, has joined Venable LLP as a Legislative and Government Affairs partner in the firm’s Washington office.

Stupak was a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Chairman of its subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

A former police officer and Michigan state trooper, Stupak became one of the leading congressional voices on law enforcement issues: in 1994 he created the first law enforcement caucus in Congress and went on to help write and pass substantial legislation to support law enforcement professionals.

Stupak also is serving as a Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics and will be leading a study group on government investigations at the Kennedy School of Government entitled “Investigate or Irritate: Changing Corporate and Government Behavior.”

• A ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Crime Victims Rights Exhibit at the Michigan Supreme Court Learning Center in Lansing is this coming Wednesday, April 13, at 3 p.m.

Chief Justice Robert P. Young Jr., Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, former state legislator Senator Bill Van Regenmorter (author and proponent of Michigan’s Crime Victims Rights Act), and Attorney General Bill Schuette are scheduled to speak.

The Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan is co-sponsoring the event.

The educational exhibit is a tribute to crime victims and those who advocate for them. It will feature four panels, the exhibit educates the viewer about the act, and its meaning for crime victims, through interactive educational games.

• Know a great young attorney who has made great strides in his or her career? Then the Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Michigan wants to know more.

The section is now accepting nominations for the 2011 Regeana Myrick Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.

All nominations must be received by May 6. The recipient of the award will be chosen by the SBM-YLS Outstanding Young Lawyer Award Subcommittee, and will notified by May 13. The award will be presented during the Fourth Annual YLS Summit on Saturday, May 21, at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.

In 1997, the Young Lawyers Section renamed its Outstanding Young Lawyer Award in honor of Regeana Myrick, an executive council member of the section who passed away in August of that year.

For more information, contact Brandy Y. Robinson at byrobinson@gmail.com.

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