Law Firm Jobs Taken by New Graduates - Distribution by Race/Ethnicity

NALP Bulletin, August 2004 

NALP's employment data for the Class of 2003 show that more than half (57.8%) of employed graduates took jobs in law firms, and, of these jobs, almost half were taken in the 20 cities providing the most jobs to this class. However, as the tables on this page show, among graduates taking jobs in law firms, minorities as a whole, and in particular Asian/Pacific Islander and African-American graduates, were more likely to take a job in one of the these cities.

Of these 20 cities, Table 2 shows that the proportion of law firm jobs taken by minorities ranged from a high of almost half in Miami to a low of 5% in Pittsburgh. In some cities, one specific group dominated the minority graduates — in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco it was Asian/Pacific Islanders; in Miami and Phoenix it was Hispanics, and in Atlanta, African-Americans. In other cities, such as Houston, Dallas, and Chicago, the mix was more even.

Table 1. Geographic Distribution of Law Firm Jobs Taken by the Class of 2003

Law Firm Jobs Taken by: % in 20 Largest Cities % in Other Locations # of Jobs
All graduates 48.4% 51.6% 18,176
All minorities 57.5 42.5 3,087
Non-minorities 46.3 53.7 14,085
Native American 27.2 72.8 81
Asian/P. Islander 64.6 35.4 1,189
African-American 56.6 43.4 875
Multi-racial 50.6 49.4 89
Hispanic 52.2 47.8 853

Note: All counts exclude law firm jobs for which location was not reported. Also, all counts, except the overall count, exclude law firm jobs taken by graduates for whom race/ethnicity was not reported. The Asian/Pacific Islander category includes East Indian/Pakistani graduates.



Table 2. Distribution of Law Firm Jobs by Race/Ethnicity in 20 Cities Providing the Most Jobs to the Class of 2003

City PERCENT OF JOBS TAKEN BY GRADUATES WHO WERE: # of Jobs
Native American Asian/P. Islander African-American Hispanic Multi-racial Caucasian
Atlanta 0.56% 3.07% 13.69% 1.12% 0.28% 81.28% 358
Boston 0.28 6.80 4.82 4.25 0.28 83.57 353
Chicago 0.22 9.54 4.11 4.99 0.78 80.36 901
Cleveland 3.03 5.19 0.43 0.43 90.91 231
Columbus 2.19 5.84 2.19 0.73 89.05 137
Dallas 0.60 4.20 5.71 5.11 0.60 83.78 333
Houston 0.19 5.16 7.46 9.18 0.57 77.44 523
Indianapolis 2.59 6.03 2.59 88.79 116
Los Angeles 0.30 20.27 5.71 8.71 0.45 64.56 666
Miami 2.75 8.72 33.94 1.38 53.21 218
Minneapolis/St. Paul 0.90 7.69 3.62 1.36 86.43 221
New York City 0.15 11.89 6.02 4.48 0.50 76.97 2,010
Philadelphia 4.65 5.98 1.66 0.66 87.04 301
Phoenix 0.93 0.93 1.87 13.08 83.18 107
Pittsburgh 0.58 2.91 0.58 0.58 95.35 172
San Diego 13.02 3.72 6.51 76.74 215
San Francisco 1.02 14.58 3.05 5.42 1.36 74.58 295
Seattle 10.56 2.82 4.93 81.69 142
St. Louis 3.35 4.31 0.48 0.48 91.39 209
Washington, DC 0.38 10.97 8.32 3.28 0.63 76.42 793

Note: Law firm jobs taken by graduates for whom race/ethnicity was not reported are excluded from this table. The Asian/Pacific Islander category includes East Indian/Pakistani graduates.

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