MORGANTOWN—The employment rate for graduates of West Virginia University College of Law in 2017 is higher than the national average, according to recent statistics.
Eighty-two percent of graduates from the 2017 class obtained full-time jobs that required passing of the bar exam and where a law degree is an advantage, according to statistics gathered by the American Bar Association. The national average is 75.3 percent.
Heather Spielmaker, assistant dean for career services, said the employment numbers were strong.
"They indicate that WVU Law is admitting the right number of well-qualified students to meet employment demands and that employers are interested in our graduates," Spielmaker said.
Heather Spielmaker WVU
The dean said good employment statistics are important for the school's accreditation and also play a big part in the formula used by U.S. News and other ranking agencies in "scoring" schools.
"We feel really good about the employment statistics this year," Spielmaker said. "Our statistics put us in the top 30 percent of law schools nationwide, and our starting salaries made a significant jump this year as well. We are happy that our students are finding work that pays well."
She said the statistic helps with the recruitment of future students.
"Today’s law school applicants care about their employment prospects," Spielmaker said. "They want to see value for the time and expense of law school. Our employment statistics are solid, and the prospective students we talk to are usually very excited to hear about them."
The 2017 graduating class also topped the national average in four areas of employment: law firms, clerkships, public interest and education, which Spielmaker said shows the school is doing its job to prepare students for their future positions.
"This means we are admitting the right number of well-qualified students and we are preparing them to be competitive in the job market," the dean said. "It means we are doing our jobs well."
The recent graduating classes at the law school have had between 105 and 115 students.
"We are really proud of our graduates and seeing them succeed after graduation is the most satisfying part of what we do," Spielmaker said.