Check Out The Record-Breaking Starting Salaries For Recent Law School Grads


9654552022 was a good year to graduate from law school, presuming you like money. According to a new report from the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), the median starting salary for the law school Class of 2022 is a record-breaking $85,000. That’s up 6.3 percent over the median salary for the year before, which was $80,000. The average salary for the Class of 2022 is also up 6.3 percent to $116,398.

Here’s how those increases in salary look as broken down by job type. For recent grad at law firms, the median salary is up to $150,000, up 14.1 percent over the $131,500 for the Class of 2021. And in public-interest jobs, the median salary was $62,000, up from $58,000 the year before.

Other key takeaways:

• The employment rate for the Class of 2022 improved by two-tenths of a percentage point, to 92.1% of graduates for whom employment status was known, compared to 91.9% for the Class of 2021. This is the best employment rate recorded since the Class of 1987, when the rate was just slightly higher, at 92.2%.
• The percentage of graduates taking jobs for which bar passage is required or anticipated grew by 1.7 percentage points, increasing to 79.9% for the Class of 2022 ― a new all-time high for the period since 2001 when NALP began using the current job classifications.
• Overall, 58.0% of employed graduates obtained a job in private practice, an increase of one percentage point over the Class of 2021, and the highest this figure has been in 20 years.
• Just 7.8% of employed Class of 2022 graduates were seeking a different job than the one they are currently employed in, a record low.

But as executive director of the NALP, Nikia L. Gray, wrote, market conditions “propelled the class of 2022 beyond even the impressive employment outcomes of the class of 2021, in several cases shattering employment and salary records.” But don’t get too excited that will last — Gray wrote that law students should not expect the good times to roll on, noting, 2023 “has been marked with news of a cooling legal market, associate layoffs and delayed start dates.” Which means “we have been experiencing a brief market correction after the pandemic recovery and that future graduates may face a more challenging—or at least average—job market.”

Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter @Kathryn1 or Mastodon @[email protected].

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