August 06, 2014

Survey shows law school graduates finding jobs

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A recent survey shows Southern Illinois University School of Law graduates are having success in finding jobs after leaving school and in the process beating a national trend. 

National Jurist magazine ranks the law school 12th in the nation in improved employment rates of graduates between 2011 and 2013 with an 11.4 percent increase, from 71.3 percent to 82.7 percent. 

The law school is among 20 in the nation, based on the formula created by The National Jurist using American Bar Association data, to improve graduates’ employment rate by 10 percent or more over the last two years. The magazine’s formula gave greatest weight to full-time jobs that required law degrees and where law degrees were preferred. 

“We have a curriculum that emphasizes practical skills and that gives our students outstanding preparation for practice. Employers know that they can count on SIU Law graduates to hit the ground running in their first jobs,” Dean Cynthia L. Fountaine said.  “I am proud of our graduates for doing the work necessary to position themselves well for employment, and I am delighted that employers have recognized that SIU Law graduates make great hires. We are fortunate to have a community in which everyone is invested in our students' success -- and, to us, success means not only helping them succeed in law school, but also helping them succeed after law school.” 

Mike Ruiz, the law school’s assistant dean for career services and special programs, said SIU’s students have a competitive advantage in that they consider a wider geographic base and not just larger towns when looking for jobs.  SIU students are willing to work in smaller firms, open their own private practice and work with public-interest legal firms. 

“This definitely improves their chances,” he said.  “The students recognized how difficult the market was and took the steps they needed to take not only during their law school career but also afterward to find a job.”