Employment Data

Employment opportunities available to graduates of Duke Law School consistently rank among the nation’s best and most prestigious. Graduates from the Class of 2013 secured employment with a broad range of organizations around the United States and abroad. For the third straight year, more than 87% of the Class was employed in long-term, full-time positions that required the bar exam or were “J.D. preferred” as of Feb. 15 following graduation. Since that date, several more 2013 graduates have moved from short-term to permanent jobs. 

Among those employed, two members of the Class of 2013 were working in University- or Law School-funded positions. One was employed by the Duke University General Counsel’s office and another by Duke Law’s Environmental Law and Policy Clinic through the support of Fred and Alice Stanback. Seven other 2013 graduates are launching their careers with one more year of graduate school, pursuing degrees ranging from an LLM in Tax to a Master’s in Divinity (the latter student will be joining an international law firm in Washington after graduation). Others in graduate school are pursuing technology-related degrees, building on the interdisciplinary education they designed at Duke to reflect the nature of legal practice they will be joining.  

If you are considering law school, we encourage you to use the data available to compare institutions and ask detailed and probing questions that will help you make the most informed decision based on your career goals and aspirations.

Employment Nine Months after Graduation

The chart below shows the numbers of Duke Law students in various types of employment nine months after graduation. This information is reported annually to the ABA and/or NALP, the Association for Legal Career Professionals. Data reported to the ABA may be downloaded in full for the Class of 2011, Class of 2012, and Class of 2013.

  Class of
2013
Class of
2012
Class of
2011
Total Graduates 241 225 207
Employed 225 217 197
Bar Passage Required 219 211 181
JD Preferred/Advantage^ 6 5 13
Other Professional 0 0 2
Non-Professional 0 1 1
Unknown 0 0 0
Pursuing Graduate Degree 7 2 3
Unemployed - Not Seeking 0 2 2
Unemployed - Seeking* 7 3 3
Employment Status Unknown 2 1 2

See further detail on employment data

^ABA modified the term in 2012.

*Six members of the class of 2013 were preparing for the bar exam.

Visit the ABA website for term definitions.

 

Short-Term and Law School/University-Funded Positions

  Class of
2013
Class of
2012
Class of
2011
Short-Term 14 21 13
Law School/University-Funded      
   - Short-Term 9 11 8
   - Long-Term 2 1 3

 

Employment Type

Duke Law graduates find employment in all sectors of the legal profession and beyond.

  Class of
2013*
Class of
2012*
Class of
2011*
Law Firms 148 126 122
Solo 0 0 0
2-10 8 4 12
11-25 4 3 3
26-50 3 1 7
51-100 8 1 6
101-250 11 4 14
251-500 18 21 13
500+ 96 92 66
unknown 0 0 1
Business and Industry 13 12 12
Government (includes Military) 19 13 13
Public Interest 5 19 11
Clerkship 38 46 33
Academia 2 1 6
Other/unknown 0 0 0

See further detail on employment data

*This table includes short-term and part-time positions.

 

Clerkships

Many Duke Law students secure clerkships each year. Some accept clerkships that begin after graduation, and some obtain clerkships after a year or more of law practice in a firm or public sector position. Duke Law provides comprehensive support to all students and alumni seeking clerkships. Following are the numbers of students in clerkships, by class and by term (term counts include graduating students as well as alumni).

  Class of
2013*
Class of
2012**
Class of
2011***
Federal Courts 22 31 25
State Courts 15 15 8
Other Courts 1 0 0
Total by Class 38 46 33
       
  Term
2013-14
Term
2012-13
Term
2011-12
Article 3 Courts 35 38 37
Other Federal Courts 3 4 8
State Courts 19 15 11
Other Courts 1 0 0
Total by Term 58 57 56

*For the Class of 2013, 1 graduate clerking was employed in a short-term Duke Law-funded position.

**For the Class of 2012, 1 graduate clerking was employed in a short-term Duke Law-funded position.

***For the Class of 2011, 2 graduates clerking were employed in a short-term Duke Law-funded position.


Geographic Destinations of Duke Law School Graduates

Duke Law School has approximately more than 10,000 alumni presently practicing law in all 50 states and in more than 70 countries around the globe. (Please note that percentages may not add up to 100 because numbers are rounded to the nearest tenth.)

  Class of
2013
Class of
2012
Class of
2011
Northeast
ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI, NY, NJ, PA, DE
30.2% 32.3% 25.4%
Mid-Atlantic
DC, VA, MD, WV
17.3% 17.5% 14.7%
South Atlantic
NC, SC, GA
13.8% 11.5% 20.8%
Midwest
OH, IN, IL, MO, KS, NE, IA, ND, SD, MI, MN, WI, KY
8.0% 6.0% 6.1%
South
TX, LA, MS, OK, TN, AR, AL, FL
16.0% 11.1% 16.2%
West
AK, HI, CA, NV, WA, OR, AZ, NM, UT, CO, WY, ID, MT
11.6% 19.4% 12.7%
International 3.1% 2.3% 4.1%

Most Popular Employment Locations

Duke Law graduates are unusually widespread throughout the United States and the world. The locations with the consistently highest concentrations of Duke graduates are listed below; other popular locations include Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Georgia.

  Class of 2013 Class of 2012 Class of 2011
New York 22.2% 22.1% 17.8%
Washington, D.C. 15.1% 14.3% 13.2%
North Carolina 12.0% 8.8% 15.2%
Texas 10.2% 5.1% 8.1%
California 6.7% 12.4% 10.7%

Salaries by Sector (Long-Term, Full-Time Employed Graduates Only)

  Private
Practice
Judicial
Clerk
Govt., Public Interest, Military
Class of 2013      
(number reporting/total number
in long-term, full-time category)
97%
141/146
100%
37/37
82%
14/17
25th Percentile $145,000 $50,000 $39,768
50th Percentile $160,000 $57,000 $44,542
75th Percentile $160,000 $58,000 $56,000
Class of 2012      
(number reporting/total number
in long-term, full-time category)
98%
118/121
98%
43/44
90%
19/21
25th Percentile $145,000 $50,000 $42,000
50th Percentile $160,000 $55,000 $52,500
75th Percentile $160,000 $60,000 $62,000
Class of 2011      
(number reporting/total number
in long-term, full-time category)
97%
116 / 120
100%
31 / 31
89%
16 / 18
25th Percentile $115,000 $50,000 $41,000
50th Percentile $160,000 $57,408 $51,630
75th Percentile $160,000 $61,000 $64,900