Employment Data

Employment opportunities available to graduates of Duke Law School consistently rank among the nation’s best and most prestigious. Graduating students go on to positions with a wide range of organizations around the United States and abroad, including law firms, businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits, as well as judicial clerkships and academic employment. As of April 15, 2015, 93 percent of the Class of 2014 was employed in long-term, full-time positions that required passage of the bar exam or were “JD preferred,” including 3 percent in school-funded positions.

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/Ten Months after Graduation

The chart below shows the numbers of Duke Law students in various types of employment nine months after graduation (Class of 2012 and Class of 2013) and ten months after graduation (Class of 2014). This information is reported annually to the American Bar Association (ABA) and/or the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). Data reported to the ABA may be downloaded in full for the Class of 2012, Class of 2013, and Class of 2014.

  Class of
2014
Class of
2013
Class of
2012
Total Graduates 215 241 225
Employed 207 225 217
Bar Passage Required 200 219 211
JD Preferred/Advantage 6 6 5
Other Professional 1 0 0
Non-Professional 0 0 1
Unknown 0 0 0
Pursuing Graduate Degree 1 7 2
Unemployed - Not Seeking 3 0 2
Unemployed - Seeking 3 7 3
Employment Status Unknown 1 2 1

Visit the ABA website for term definitions.

 

Short-Term and Law School/University-Funded Positions

  Class of
2014
Class of
2013
Class of
2012
Short-Term 6 14 21
Law School/University-Funded      
   - Short-Term 4 9 11
   - Long-Term 7 2 1

 

Employment Type

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

  Class of
2014*
Class of
2013*
Class of
2012*
Law Firms 135 148 126
Solo 0 0 0
2-10 0 8 4
11-25 4 4 3
26-50 3 3 1
51-100 5 8 1
101-250 11 11 4
251-500 18 18 21
500+ 94 96 92
unknown 0 0 0
Business and Industry 11 13 12
Government (includes Military) 16 19 13
Public Interest 7 5 19
Clerkship 35 38 46
Academia 3 2 1
Other/unknown 0 0 0

*This table includes short-term and University-funded 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
2014*
Class of
2013*
Class of
2012*
Federal Courts 30 22 31
State Courts 5 15 15
Other Courts 0 1 0
Total by Class 35 38 46
       
  Term
2014-15*
Term
2013-14*
Term
2012-13*
Article 3 Courts 48 35 38
Other Federal Courts 3 3 4
State Courts 13 19 15
Other Courts 0 1 0
Total by Term 64 58 57

* For the Class of 2014, Class of 2013, and Class of 2012, 1 graduate clerking was 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
2014
Class of
2013
Class of
2012
Northeast
ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI, NY, NJ, PA, DE
38.2% 30.2% 32.3%
Mid-Atlantic
DC, VA, MD, WV
15.0% 17.3% 17.5%
South Atlantic
NC, SC, GA
10.1% 13.8% 11.5%
Midwest
OH, IN, IL, MO, KS, NE, IA, ND, SD, MI, MN, WI, KY
4.8% 8.0% 6.0%
South
TX, LA, MS, OK, TN, AR, AL, FL
15.9% 16.0% 11.1%
West
AK, HI, CA, NV, WA, OR, AZ, NM, UT, CO, WY, ID, MT
12.6% 11.6% 19.4%
International 3.4% 3.1% 2.3%

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 2014 Class of 2013 Class of 2012
New York 27.1% 22.2% 22.1%
Washington, D.C. 12.1% 15.1% 14.3%
California 11.1% 6.7% 12.4%
North Carolina 8.7% 12.0% 8.8%
Texas 6.3% 10.2% 5.1%

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

  Private
Practice
Judicial
Clerk
Govt., Public Interest, Military
Class of 2014      
(number reporting/total number in long-term, full-time category) 100%
133/133
100%
34/34
88%
15/17*
25th Percentile $145,000 $57,000 $52,146
50th Percentile $160,000 $60,000 $61,000
75th percentile $160,000 $61,000 $65,000
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

*Does not include the three long-term Duke Law-funded positions.