73 percent of the 2016 graduates of the 204 law schools approved by the ABA to offer the J.D. degree were employed in full-time long-term bar-passage-required or J.D. positions, according to the American Bar Association.
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That compares to the approximately 70 percent of the graduates reporting similar full-time long-term jobs last year.
The higher percentage of students so employed, however, results from an approximately 7 percent decrease in the size of the graduating class. The actual number of full-time long-term Bar-Passage-Required or J.D. "Advantage" jobs declined by 4 percent from 28,029 for 2015 to 26,923 in 2016. "Advantage" jobs do no require bar passage or an active law license or involve practicing law, but they are positions for which the employer sought an individual with a J.D., and perhaps even required a J.D., or for which the J.D. provided a demonstrable advantage in obtaining or performing the job.
The Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and its accreditation committee are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting agency for programs leading to the J.D. The section’s 14,000 members studies and makes recommendations for the improvement of the bar admission process, and the section and its governing council operate for accreditation purposes as independent arms of the ABA.
With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world.