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 March 15, 2016, 93 percent of the Class of 2015 was employed in long-term, full-time positions that required passage of the bar exam or were “JD preferred,” including 0.5 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 2013) and ten months after graduation (Class of 2014 and Class of 2015). 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 2013, Class of 2014, and Class of 2015.

Duke University School of Law is approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654, 312-988-6738.

  Class of
2015
Class of
2014
Class of
2013
Total Graduates 208 215 241
Employed 202 207 225
Bar Passage Required 194* 200 219
JD Preferred/Advantage 7 6 6
Other Professional 1 1 0
Non-Professional 0 0 0
Unknown 0 0 0
Pursuing Graduate Degree 1 1 7
Unemployed - Not Seeking 1 3 0
Unemployed - Seeking 4 3 7
Employment Status Unknown 0 1 2

*The ABA has broken out the school-funded positions for the class of 2015. The 1 full-time long-term and 6 other school-funded positions are included here. See below for how the school-funded positions are broken out.

See further detail on employment data

Visit the ABA website for term definitions.

 

Short-Term and Law School/University-Funded Positions

  Class of
2015
Class of
2014
Class of
2013
Short-Term not school funded 3 2 5
Law School/University-Funded      
   - Short-Term 6 4 9
   - Long-Term 1 7 2

2014 LST School-Funded Job Disclosure

 

 

Employment Type

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

  Class of
2015*
Class of
2014*
Class of
2013*
Law Firms 148 135 148
Solo 0 0 0
2-10 5 0 8
11-25 1 4 4
26-50 1 3 3
51-100 2 5 8
101-250 13 11 11
251-500 24 18 18
500+ 102 94 96
unknown 0 0 0
Business and Industry 9 11 13
Government (includes Military) 7 16 19
Public Interest 4 7 5
Clerkship 32 35 38
Academia 2 3 2
Other/unknown 0 0 0

*This table includes short-term and Law School/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
2015*
Class of
2014**
Class of
2013**
Federal Courts 20 30 22
State Courts 12 5 15
Other Courts 0 0 1
Total by Class 32 35 38
       
       
Total Clerkships by term Term
2015-16
Term
2014-15
Term
2013-14
Federal Courts 54 59 40
U.S. Supreme Court 1 1 1
U.S. Circuit Courts 18 25 16
U.S. District Courts 29 26 22
Other Federal Courts 6 7 1
State Courts 16 13 21
Total by Term 70 72 61

*For the Class of 2015, 2 graduates clerking were employed in Duke Law funded positions, including 1 for a full year.

**For the Class of 2014 and Class of 2013, 1 graduate clerking was employed in a short-term Duke Law-funded position.

Geographic Destinations of Duke Law School Graduates

Duke Law School has more than 11,000 alumni presently 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
2015
Class of
2014
Class of
2013
Northeast
ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI, NY, NJ, PA, DE
40.1% 38.2% 30.2%
Mid-Atlantic
DC, VA, MD, WV
10.4% 15.0% 17.3%
South Atlantic
NC, SC, GA
17.3% 10.1% 13.8%
Midwest
OH, IN, IL, MO, KS, NE, IA, ND, SD, MI, MN, WI, KY
5.0% 4.8% 8.0%
South
TX, LA, MS, OK, TN, AR, AL, FL
13.9% 15.9% 16.0%
West
AK, HI, CA, NV, WA, OR, AZ, NM, UT, CO, WY, ID, MT
8.9% 12.6% 11.6%
International 4.5% 3.4% 3.1%

Most Popular Employment Locations

Duke Law graduates 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 2015 Class of 2014 Class of
2013
New York 32.2% 27.1% 22.2%
North Carolina 13.9% 8.7% 12.0%
Washington, D.C. 9.4% 12.1% 15.1%
California 5.9% 11.1% 6.7%
Texas 5.4% 6.3% 10.2%

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

  Private
Practice
Judicial
Clerk
Govt., Public Interest, Military
Class of 2015      
(number reporting/total number in long-term, full-time category) 100%
145/145
100%
29/29
89%
8/9
25th Percentile $145,000 $50,700 $50,000
50th Percentile $160,000 $55,000 $61,779
75th percentile $160,000 $60,000 $75,000
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

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

Past ABA Reports

 

Loan Repayment

Duke Law recently expanded its Loan Repayment Assistance Program to provide greater assistance to graduates working in the public sector. See our Financial Aid site for more information.