College of Law graduate employment 7 percent higher than national average

The University of Tennessee College of Law’s 2019 graduate employment rate is near the highest it’s been in more than five years.

Of the college’s 113 graduates in the class of 2019, 87 percent are employed in full-time, long-term bar passage required and J.D. advantage jobs 10 months after graduation. 

Four percent of graduates are employed in short-term or part-time, law-related work.

The College of Law’s employment success is far above the 2019 national average of 80.5 and the 2018 national average of 77.6 percent, according to information released this month by the American Bar Association. 

Career Center Director Brad Morgan attributes that success to the College of Law’s multi-faceted approach in working with students and employers.

“We are pleased that our students are finding and securing successful and rewarding career outcomes,” Morgan said. 

He added that employment opportunities for attorneys are growing more diverse and that helps students find employment in areas that were not available to their predecessors.

“Even as the competitive nature of the legal market remains, opportunities are there, they’ve just shifted,” he said. “For example, we are seeing growth in jobs in law adjacent areas such as 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 that meet those needs rather than have them sift through a stack of resumes that may or may not contain ideal candidates,” Morgan said.

Dean Melanie Wilson said she is proud of the team effort that has led to strong employment results for graduates.  

“This success is a result of the professionals in our Career Center working collaboratively with students, faculty, staff and employer partners for the good of the entire community,” Wilson 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 on issues related to not only talent recruitment and retention, but also hiring trends, salary data and legal market trends.