Summary Findings from NALP’s 2017 US Law School Career Services Survey

NALP Bulletin, November 2017

NALP's 2017 Law School Career Services Survey for US schools collected information on office staffing and salaries for career services offices as of May 1, 2017. All in all, a total of 106 law schools responded to the survey. The schools represented every region, enrollment size, and a mix of public and private law schools. These schools collectively reported on over 400 career services professionals.

Among the findings:

  • The median salary for primary professionals was $95,000, and the average was not quite $100,000. Salaries are generally higher at private schools, larger schools, and those in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and West/Rocky Mountain Regions. (See Table 1, Salaries for Primary Professionals as of May 1, 2017.)

  • The overall median is up by $7,000 compared with a median of $88,000 at the time of the 2015 survey.

  • The median for second professionals was $69,500, and the average was about $70,800. Again, salaries are generally higher at larger schools and at those in Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and West/Rocky Mountain Regions. (See Table 2, Salaries for Other Professional and Administrative Positions as of May 1, 2017.) The median in 2015 for second professionals was $67,500.

  • Additionally, schools averaged 3.7 full-time professional staff in the CSO office, essentially unchanged from 2015. The figures ranged from 1.8 at small schools to 6 at larger schools.

  • About 34% of schools reported having a staff member whose duties primarily encompass employer development, compared with 30% in 2015. Over half of private schools reported such a staff person, compared with just 11% of public schools.

  • Primary professionals averaged 13 years in the field; second professionals averaged 9 years. The figures for 2015 were 11.5 years and 7 years, respectively.

The full report, with more detail on all these topics and more, is available as a member resource.


Table 1. Salaries for Primary Professionals — as of May 1, 2017

  25th
Percentile
Median 75th
Percentile
Average # of
Salaries
Reported
All Schools - Overall $80,000 $95,000 $110,000 $99,820 98
Private Law Schools
Private Law Schools - Overall 80,000 99,269 124,680 104,566 50
  By NALP Region:
      Northeast and Mid-Atlantic 80,000 134,500 148,000 125,651 10
      Southeast 80,000 83,000 106,000 93,200 18
      Midwest 80,000 99,750 110,000 104,946 10
      West/Rocky Mountain 90,000 102,019 119,800 103,726 12
  By size of school (JD enrollment):
      JD enrollment fewer than 400 68,615 80,000 90,000 78,250 14
      JD enrollment 400-600 80,000 92,000 129,580 105,038 15
      JD enrollment more than 600 100,000 110,000 136,000 121,773 21
Public Law Schools
Public Law Schools - Overall 79,231 93,982 108,000 94,877 48
   By NALP Region:
      Northeast and Mid-Atlantic 72,150 93,982 102,500 89,370 8
      Southeast 78,000 85,000 106,440 97,423 16
      Midwest 80,000 89,850 98,857 89,455 13
      West/Rocky Mountain 75,000 98,732 122,000 101,584 11
By size of school (JD enrollment):
     JD enrollment fewer than 400 75,000 81,000 95,250 83,043 23
     JD enrollment 400-600 80,000 102,880 115,000 100,318 15
     JD enrollment more than 600 94,493 103,929 125,000 113,932 10

Note: Figures reflect full-time salaries only. Groupings with fewer than 5 salaries are not reported.



Table 2. Salaries for Other Professionals — as of May 1, 2017

  25th
Percentile
Median 75th
Percentile
Average # of
Salaries
Reported
Second Professionals
Overall $59,949 $69,500 $80,000 $70,832 150
By NALP region:
      Northeast and Mid-Atlantic 68,000 75,500 89,100 77,818 26
      Southeast 56,106 64,250 74,000 67,823 50
      Midwest 57,412 67,500 74,000 68,850 29
      West/RM 65,000 72,000 80,000 71,417 45
By size of school (JD enrollment):
      JD enrollment fewer than 400 52,000 58,011 69,000 60,911 25
      JD enrollment 400-600 56,106 68,300 82,000 69,178 49
      JD enrollment more than 600 67,000 72,750 84,000 75,162 76
Third Professionals
Overall 56,300 68,279 78,000 67,975 80
By NALP region:
      Northeast and Mid-Atlantic 62,650 71,193 85,700 76,604 25
      Southeast 52,787 61,200 75,000 62,635 27
      Midwest 53,050 70,000 72,875 63,083 12
      West/RM 55,290 68,500 79,155 67,170 16
By size of school (JD enrollment):
      JD enrollment fewer than 400 47,000 49,000 57,000 51,167 6
      JD enrollment 400-600 53,150 59,000 70,000 60,371 20
      JD enrollment more than 600 62,950 72,875 81,000 72,658 54
Fourth Professionals
Overall 50,000 62,400 73,000 60,675 26
By NALP region:
      Northeast and Mid-Atlantic 60,000 68,000 77,200 67,746 15
      Midwest 40,000 42,556 55,000 46,111 5
By size of school (JD enrollment):
      JD enrollment more than 600 55,000 62,400 73,000 61,502 25
By type of school:
      Private 55,000 62,400 74,000 63,190 21
      Public 40,000 42,556 63,799 50,109 5

Note: Only groupings with 5 or more salaries reported are included in the table.

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