College of Law graduate employment 15 percent higher than national average

At 94 percent, the University of Tennessee College of Law’s 2017 graduate employment rate is the highest it’s been in more than five years.

Of those graduates, 91 percent are employed in full-time, long-term bar passage required or J.D. advantage jobs 10 months after graduation. Three percent of graduates are employed in part-time, law-related work.

The success of the UT College of Law is far above the national average of 75.3, according to information released this week by the American Bar Association. That compares to 72.6 percent of the graduates reporting similar full-time, long-term jobs nationally the previous year.

Career Center Director Brad Morgan, who began serving as interim director in May 2016 before his permanent appointment in June, attributes that success to the College of Law’s multi-faceted approach in working with students and employers.

“We have been working to provide students with foundational pieces so that they can understand their strengths and their opportunities early on in their law school careers,” Morgan said. “We focus on helping them develop a professional plan and providing the tools, resources and contacts that help them pursue that plan.”

In 2007, prior to the nationwide recession, legal services jobs reached highs of 1.8 million.

Morgan said while a majority of graduates found employment with private firms before the recession, employment opportunities are becoming increasingly diverse.

“The opportunities are there, they’ve just shifted,” he said. “For example, we are now seeing jobs for data privacy and security officers, or in higher education compliance, or regulatory affairs.”

An equally important partner in the success of College of Law students finding employment is, of course, employers, Morgan said.

“When we can partner with a law firm or other organization and gain a good understanding of their needs, we can provide a robust pool of candidates rather than have them sift through a stack of resumes that may or may not contain ideal candidates,” Morgan said.

The University of Tennessee College of Law Bettye B. Lewis Career Center, named for the first president of the Tennessee Bar Auxiliary and former president of the Memphis Bar Auxiliary, works with students and alumni at every stage of their careers. The Career Center also serves as a resource for employers of all types.

For more information, contact the Career Center at 865-974-4348.