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April 12, 2017 After the JD

Data collection for Wave III of AJD occured in 2012 and was completed in early 2013Data analysis on this rich sample continues, and a capstone book project is now underway on the findings from the first three waves. Recent findings include:

  • Lawyers are moving away from private practice, toward business (both as inside counsel and in non-law positions).  In 2003 only 8.4% were working in the business sector; by 2012 that figure jumped to 20%.  Meanwhile, the percentage of lawyers working in private practice declined from 68.8 % to 44.1% over the same period.
  • The gender pay gap persists. In 2012, female respondents working full time earned 80% of the pay reported by male respondents.
  • The gender gap in attaining partnership persists.  In 2012, 52.3% of female respondents working in law firms were partners, compared with 68.8% of male respondents. Of partners,  65.5% of men  were equity partners compared with 53% of women.
  • Overall, 40.8% of respondents said that the economic downturn of 2008-09 had no noticeable effect on their careers.
  • 76% of respondents indicated they were “moderately” or “extremely” satisfied with their decision to become a lawyer. When asked whether law school was a “good career investment,” on a 1 to 7 scale, with 4 meaning “neither agree nor disagree,” the mean score was 5.46, indicating a relatively positive assessment.

The Wave III public and restricted datasets are available to researchers as of November 2014. 

Data (ICPSR): After the JD, Wave 3: A Longitudinal Study of Careers in Transition, 2012-2013

Report (NALP): After the JD III

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