Oregon Law’s employment rates rise

outside of knight law center

Oregon Law’s 2019 graduates logged the highest overall employment rate since the recession, at almost 91%.  More than 93% of those positions are in full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage or for which having a JD degree offered an advantage.  

Marcilynn A. Burke, Oregon Law Dean and Dave Frohnmayer Chair in Leadership and Law said, “Our graduates worked hard to obtain their JD degrees, and now those Oregon Law degrees are opening doors across the nation for them.”

Graduates found positions in a wide range of employment settings.  They work across the country in law firms of all sizes.  They also serve as judicial clerks at every level—trial, appellate, and supreme courts.  Government and public service positions are the most common, with judicial clerkships leading the way, followed by private sector jobs.

2019 JD Graduate Employment Graph

One member of this class, Elizabeth Schwartz, JD ’19, for example, has launched her career as an associate at Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost LLP (“F3”) in Oakland, California.

While at Oregon Law, Schwartz was the President of Moot Court; a project fellow with Oregon Child Advocacy; a judicial extern to the Honorable Michael J. McShane of the US District Court, District of Oregon; and a law clerk at the Oregon Department of Justice in the Child Advocacy Section. She also worked in the Prosecution Clinic. She credits these practical and hands-on experiences with helping her gain invaluable skills needed to enter the job market.

Elizabeth SchwartzSchwartz also points to Oregon Law’s Center for Career Planning and Professional Development as being instrumental to her current success. “During the fall of my 1L year, I received an email from the Career Center about an education law conference that was going to be held in Portland,” said Schwartz. “As a former teacher, education law was an area of interest.  I went to the conference and met attorneys from my current firm. I worked with my career counselor to develop the relationships with the attorneys I met at the conference. The Career Center helped me polish my resume and cover letter and prepare for my interview which led to my 1L internship and current job.”

“A large number of graduates are working in sought-after positions,” said Rebecca Ivanoff, JD ’10, Assistant Dean for Career Planning and Professional Development. “Our goal is to provide opportunities for students and recent graduates to explore career options and to teach them how to develop and execute effective career plans.”

While these numbers are inspiring, Ivanoff is looking at the Class of 2020 and the potential employment obstacles they may face due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The full economic impact of COVID-19 is unknown, but it is fair to assume that it will have some impact on opportunities for our 2020 graduates.” Ivanoff said.  “That said, our graduates are tenacious and resilient.  They’ve worked hard to cultivate their transferrable skills and their professional networks.  And our team remains dedicated to supporting them on their journey to securing meaningful employment.”

Find the details of Oregon Law’s success in our American Bar Association’s employment summary.