School of Law 2022 commencement.
Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas

Law School Reports High Employment Outcomes, Record U.S. News Ranking

Another class of St. Thomas Law graduates was in high demand last year. The law school recently reported that 90% of 2022 graduates were working in “gold-standard” positions within 10 months of graduation. A “gold-standard” position is a full-time, long-term position that either requires a law license, or for which having a J.D. provides a significant advantage to performing or obtaining the role.

“These employment outcomes demonstrate that the School of Law is fulfilling its mission to prepare students for meaningful careers, with the practical skills and personal qualities sought by legal employers. We’re proud of our graduates who serve their clients and communities as they work to promote justice and work for a stronger society,” said the law school’s interim Dean Joel Nichols.

The Class of 2022 employment rate places St. Thomas Law among the top schools in the country for career outcomes.

  • University of Minnesota Law School: 96%
  • Notre Dame Law School: 96%
  • Harvard Law School: 94%
  • Marquette University Law School: 90%
  • St. Thomas School of Law: 90%
  • Pepperdine Caruso School of Law: 88%
  • Sturm College of Law – University of Denver: 86%
  • Seattle University School of Law: 82%
  • Creighton University School of Law: 75%

Graduates from the Class of 2021 reported a 92% gold-standard employment rate 10 months after graduation, which was the percentage used in the calculation of this year’s U.S. News & World Report ranking of the nation’s top law schools.

St. Thomas Law was listed as No. 96 among the country’s nearly 200 law schools in the 2024 rankings. It is the highest ranking the school has received in its history and the first year that the school has been ranked among the top 100 law schools. Last year, St. Thomas was ranked No. 127.

For the first time, in this year’s rankings U.S. News weighted each school’s rate of employment for recent graduates more heavily in its methodology and included full-time, long-term fellowships in the employment percentage. This change resulted in the inclusion of St. Thomas Law graduates participating in the school’s Archbishop Ireland Justice Fellows program.

The fellowship program places licensed School of Law graduates in one-year, full-time positions that work to address the civil legal needs of individuals who otherwise could not afford assistance from an attorney. Recent placements have included the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, Disability Law Center of Minnesota and Safe Passage for Children of Minnesota.

“The Ireland Fellows program is a great example of the law school living its mission and serving the common good,” said Nichols. “Our graduates are placed in positions that directly impact the lives of marginalized populations and meet the needs of those who may struggle to gain access to our legal system.”

Students at St. Thomas begin their professional journey in their first year of law school. The school takes a comprehensive approach to career development that focuses on each student’s individual interests and aspirations, and emphasizes professional formation, mentorship and practical training. Multiple law school offices and programs, with the Career and Professional Development Office serving as coordinator, support students with goal setting, coaching, networking and relationship-building.

“It’s gratifying to know that our pursuit of excellence in legal education is being recognized,” Nichols said. "We will continue to dedicate ourselves to being a law school that is innovative and forward-looking as we offer a legal education that prepares lawyers who can meet tomorrow's challenges.”