School of Law 2023 commencement.
Liam James Doyle/University of St. Thomas

2023 Law Graduates Set New Record for Employment

St. Thomas Law’s Class of 2023 set a new school record for the number of graduates employed in “gold standard” positions within 10 months of commencement. The law school recently reported that 92.5% of last year’s graduating class is working in full-time, long-term jobs that either require a law license or for which having a J.D. provides a significant advantage to performing or obtaining the role.

The Class of 2023 employment rate places St. Thomas Law among the top law schools in the country for career outcomes. It ranks No. 51 nationally among the nearly 200 accredited U.S. law schools.

  • University of Minnesota Law School: 96.6%
  • Harvard Law School: 95.1%
  • Notre Dame Law School: 94.5%
  • St. Thomas School of Law: 92.5%
  • Villanova School of Law: 91.7%
  • Pepperdine School of Law: 89.3%
  • Denver College of Law: 86.6%
Joel Nichols headshot.
Interim School of Law Dean Joel Nichols (Brandon Woller ’17/University of St. Thomas)

“These statistics confirm what we hear from employers consistently,” interim School of Law Dean Joel Nichols said. “Our graduates’ legal knowledge and training, relationship skills and work ethic make them highly sought after in the workplace. We celebrate them now and look forward to watching them continue to thrive.”

Since it was founded, St. Thomas Law has been dedicated to developing impact-ready lawyers through a focus on professional formation, mentorship and practical training. It has also worked to establish and continually improve its comprehensive approach to helping students gain meaningful employment, while responding to the needs of employers and the changing legal jobs market.

St. Thomas Law’s employment model is a schoolwide initiative. Multiple law school offices and programs, with the Career and Professional Development Office serving as a leader, support students through an employment journey that focuses on their individual interests and aspirations. An example is the three-year Roadmap program, which was developed at St. Thomas and is used by law schools throughout the country. Through the program, students set goals, map out their career journey and engage with lawyers, judges, faculty and staff in one-on-one coaching sessions.

The law school has also developed a program called J.D. Compass. It pairs each new graduate, for one year after graduation, with a Career Strategist – a local legal professional or St. Thomas Law alumnus, who individually supports their employment search and assists them as they study for the bar exam.

“We are committed to offering a curriculum and programming that supports students and aligns with employer needs,” Director of Career and Professional Development Monica Gould ’04 J.D. said. “It’s exciting to see the hard work of our students, as well as faculty and staff, bring the high level of results achieved by the Class of 2023.”

St. Thomas Law’s gold-standard employment rate over the past five years:

  • Class of 2023: 92.5%
  • Class of 2022: 90%
  • Class of 2021: 92.3%
  • Class of 2020: 81.2%
  • Class of 2019: 84%