Catching Up with the Class of 2011:
Graduates report employment opportunities increased through law school fellowships
After graduating from law school in the toughest hiring climate in recent memory, more than three-fourths of BU Law's Class of 2011 have obtained long-term, full-time jobs to start their legal careers. Whereas 153 graduates had reported holding such jobs on February 15, 2012 (the cut-off date for reporting employment statistics to the American Bar Association), as of July 19, 2012, the total was 208.
Consistent with student interest when they enrolled in law school, the majority of graduates with full-time positions are employed in the private sector by law firms (106) and companies (23). Those graduates working for companies have launched careers in a wide range of industries as corporate counsel, consultants and industry advisers. Their employers include Oracle, Frito Lay, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and top companies in investment banking, human resources, entertainment, e-discovery and publishing.
One of the biggest contributors to BU Law students' landing full-time attorney positions in the last few months has been their participation in the School's two post-graduate fellowship programs. Ten BU Law graduates from the Class of 2011 were awarded $40,000 public service fellowships through a highly competitive process to work full-time for 10 months for under-resourced public service organizations throughout the United States and abroad. Eight are now employed as attorneys, five of them with the organizations where they completed their fellowships. Their employers are the Environmental Defense Fund, Wayne County Department of Social Services, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, New England Pension Assistance Project, Tacoma Public Defender Service, Americans for Immigrant Justice, Missouri Attorney General's Office and Duane Morris LLP.
Kristina McKibben ('11), recently hired as a staff attorney at the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation after completing her fellowship at the Sacramento-based nonprofit, says, "I will continue to do the work that this fellowship has allowed me to do in the Northern and Central Valley here in California. I am humbled by the experience and the freedom to mold my work to fit the needs of the rural communities here. Thank you for allowing me the 10 months to set the groundwork for my career, but more importantly, for giving me the space to share in projects that empower the very community that motivated me to go to law school."
Jeremy Knee ('11), now an assistant attorney general at the Missouri Attorney General's Office, completed his fellowship at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). "I finished law school without a job lined up, but after eight months at the EEA, I had almost a dozen interview invites and several job offers. The hiring attorneys here at the Missouri AG's Office have told me flatly that they hired me because of my energy experience at EEA. I now practice in environmental enforcement, which is mostly litigation. I also get assigned a substantial portion of the energy utility case referrals, for which I must directly credit my experience at EEA."
In addition to the full-time fellowship program, the law school provided part-time fellowships to 49 graduates to help them gain legal experience while continuing their job searches. Graduates worked around the country as well as abroad. As of July 15, 2012, 23 reported that they had secured full-time, long-term legal positions, and eight reported they were working in short-term legal positions. "Among the 42 part-time fellows that we heard from, several reported that their positions opened doors that otherwise would not have been available to new law school graduates this year," says Maura Kelly, assistant dean for Career Development and Public Service.
One former part-time fellow credits his part-time fellowship for helping him secure his current position as an in-house attorney at a research university. A fellow classmate, Bach Azezdjanov ('11), used the fellowship to work in Kyrgyzstan, gaining essential experience for his desired career in international public law. "Generally, field work is the key to getting a job with international organizations," he says. "I would've never been able to meet the people I've met here if I stayed in the U.S. with my level of experience. I met several of the UN special rapporteurs, and in a couple of weeks, I will be personally meeting the High Commissioner on human rights for whom I drafted briefing notes and talking points for meeting with Kyrgyz high officials."
The number of graduates holding part-time, short-term positions has dropped dramatically from 56 in mid-February to 14 in mid-July. There are also no students from the Class of 2011 currently working in positions funded by BU Law.
"The employment updates from the Class of 2011 and early indications from the Class of 2012 show promising trends in some key areas," says Kelly, noting that:
- The number of graduates in the Class of 2012 with federal judicial clerkships is more than double the number in the Class of 2011.
- The number of 2012 graduates that had secured full-time, long term positions in big law firms by graduation was 26% higher than it was for their counterparts in the Class of 2011 nine months after graduation.
August 3, 2012
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