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Strength in Numbers

High BC Law employment figures for 2019 graduates show effective career-focused operation prepared to meet pandemic challenges head on.

Photograph by Vicki Sanders

While it may be too early to fully understand the long-term impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on Boston College Law School community members’ personal and professional lives, it can be comforting to look back on past performance. That is where Assistant Dean of Career Services Jennifer Perrigo found good news when the Law School’s recently submitted ABA Class of 2019 employment statistics were released on March 8.

“The Class of 2019 had an overall employment rate of 92.3 percent, with 89.1 percent in Full-Time, Long-Term, Bar Passage-Required or JD-Advantage positions,” Perrigo reported. “The latter number is the highest it has been since recording these metrics, and the overall employed percentage is the second highest to the Class of 2016 (93.4 percent). In addition, there were 21 additional graduates in the Class of 2019 than in the year prior.”

The percentage of the class going to law firms reached an all-time high of 65.6 percent, with 48.2 percent working in firms of 101+ attorneys and 37.2 percent in firms of 501+ attorneys. “This was also the highest percentage of students working at firms of this size in recent history,” Perrigo noted. “The number of students working in the business sector decreased slightly this year, likely due to the strong law firm market and record high salaries.”

BC Law also had a solid number of students working in government, public interest, and clerkship positions at 17.9 percent. “This year we launched a number of initiatives to increase the number and quality of post graduate clerkships and we are committed to supporting our students interested in public interest and government careers,” she continued.

Behind Massachusetts, Perrigo said in her announcement, New York and California were the second and third most popular destinations for BC Law students, with graduates also working in many other jurisdictions, including (but not limited to) DC, Texas, and internationally.

“I would like to thank the entire BC Law community for their efforts to support students with their career-related goals, and offer special thanks to the talented team in the CSO,” Perrigo said. “I have never met a group so committed to the success and well-being of our students and who have so quickly adjusted to support our students during this uncertain time.

While acknowledging the unusual challenges in the year ahead, Perrigo remained optimistic that “this same hard work, paired with the tenacious and caring BC Law community, will help our students achieve their goals.”

The complete ABA employment statistics can be found in the Class of 2019 ABA Employment Statistics Report.

Photo: Students lined up for interviews during a BC Law-hosted public interest job recruitment program last winter.