The Texas A&M University School of Law has been ranked No. 1 in Texas and No. 10 nationally for job placement, with about 94 percent of Class of 2020 graduates finding employment within 10 months of commencement.
That’s compared to 77.4 percent of 2020 graduates from U.S. law schools who found employment within that time frame, according to data recently released by the American Bar Association. These percentages refer to “gold standard” jobs, which are full-time, long-term bar passage required or J.D. advantage positions.
“These results reflect both the caliber of Texas A&M Law students and the quality of the education we’re providing them,” said Dean Robert B. Ahdieh. “But they likewise reflect the character of our students – their commitment to perseverance and hard work, no matter what obstacles life might throw at them. That Aggie spirit is what makes them great law students. And what will make them great lawyers as well.
Ahdieh emphasized the difficult job market, with the Class of 2020 graduating amid a global pandemic. Last year, 80.6 percent of graduates nationwide reported full-time, long-term jobs. The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions notes that this year’s lower numbers nationally likely reflect the pandemic’s impact on the job market, complications with administering the bar exam, and a 1.4 percent increase in the size of the graduating class.
But at A&M’s Fort Worth-based law school, the gold standard employment rate is actually up from 92.3 percent for the Class of 2019. Assistant Dean Arturo Errisuriz attributes this to a number of factors.
The school’s overall Texas Bar Examination pass rate for first-time test takers in 2020 was 89.89 percent – No. 1 in the state, with one of its students earning the highest score. Errisuriz said the legal internships students take also provide them with hands-on experience valued by employers. Along with the strength of the Aggie Network and the hard work of faculty and staff, he also credits the “strength, quality and promise of our student body.”
“We have very bright and hardworking students, as indicated by their objective academic qualifiers coming into law school — such as LSAT score and undergraduate GPA,” he said.
High employment rates are the latest in a series of noteworthy accomplishments from the law school, which Texas A&M acquired from Texas Wesleyan University in 2013.
“When I invited the Fort Worth law school to join the Texas A&M family, I knew it would be good, but it has exceeded my expectations – and then some,” said Chancellor John Sharp.
The school has risen more than 100 places in the U.S. News & World Report rankings since 2013, jumping 30 spots over the last two years, this year ranking No. 53 in the United States.
In October, Professor Thomas W. Mitchell was named a 2020 fellow of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. One of the most prestigious prizes in academia, Mitchell was recognized for his work on legal reforms to help disadvantaged families avoid losing their land, homes and real estate wealth.
“All of us at Texas A&M are very proud of the series of accolades our School of Law has earned recently,” said John L. Junkins, interim president of Texas A&M University. “Last year a faculty member was named a MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius’ Fellow and a graduate earned the top score on the bar exam for the first time. Now the employment data shows not only that our graduates get great jobs, but also that the school’s rising reputation places it among the very top tier of law schools in the entire nation.”
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