Careers & Clerkships

Employment Data for Recent Graduates | Careers Brochure
Bar Passage Data for Recent Graduates
Careers Website | Meet the Counseling Staff
Prominent Alumni (by field)
Map: Where Our Graduates Go

Clerkships by Term and Location

Access to an Elite Career

The career development program at UVA Law is often described as a three-legged stool: private practice, clerkships and public service. UVA uniquely balances and excels in all three areas.

Private Sector

Graduates aren’t just getting jobs at firms — they are getting jobs at the nation’s most elite firms.

No. 2 in Above the Law's 2022 law school rankings, which focus on employment outcomes. More

No. 4 in the country in the percentage of Class of 2021 graduates who went directly to firms of 500 or more attorneys or to federal clerkships, according to American Bar Association data (based on full-time, long-term jobs).

No. 2 in the percentage of recent alumni working at the top 10 highest-grossing law firms. More

Salaries for the 214 students going into the private sector in the Class of 2021 reflect these outcomes:

75th percentile: $215,000
50th percentile: $215,000
25th percentile: $205,000

Any job location is within reach, and the UVA Law Network is worldwide. The Class of 2021 obtained jobs in 31 states and Washington, D.C.

Not only are graduates’ immediate outcomes in the private sector excellent, but so too are their long-term career prospects.

No. 5 in the number of partners in the American Lawyer top 100 firms (and the AmLaw 25, AmLaw 200 and the National Law Journal 500). (May 2022).

No. 5 in the country in the number of female graduate attorneys in the American Lawyer top 100 firms, according to Legal Compass (May 2022).

No. 5 in the country in the number of lawyers in the American Lawyer top 100 firms, according to Legal Compass (May 2022).

No. 2 in the number of graduates leading the nation's top 100 firms, according to an Above the Law report. More

No. 3 in the number of chief legal officers at the nation's top 500 companies, according to a 2019 survey by Chambers Associate. More

Virginia has graduates in all 100 of the American Lawyer top 100 firms (as of July 2022).

See more alumni corporate executives and entrepreneurs, and alumni in entertainment and sports.

Clerkships

From federal appeals courts to the U.S. Supreme Court, Virginia helps place students in the most competitive clerkships.

Clerkships by Term and Location

No. 5 after Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Chicago in placing clerks on the U.S. Supreme Court from 2007-2022. More

No. 4 in the percentage of graduates from the classes of 2018-21 going directly to federal clerkships after law school, according to ABA data.

No. 2 (tied) in graduates serving as Bristow Fellows, who work in the U.S. Solicitor General’s Office, from the 2010-21 terms. Bristow Fellowships can be steppingstones to U.S. Supreme Court clerkships. More

Clerkships offer advantages to those who pursue them — intense and impactful training in a wide swath of law, access to a network of fellow clerks and, if graduates pursue private-sector work, bonuses at law firms and a salary commensurate with the experience gained. Federal appeals court clerkships are stepping stones to the Supreme Court and other prestigious jobs. More

Public Service Careers

Consider how other graduates have succeeded.

Four senators and three representatives who graduated from UVA Law currently serve in the U.S. Congress. (No. 4 in J.D. graduates in the 116th Congress; More)

Other alumni serve in government at the highest levels. UVA is No. 6 among law schools in the number of graduates serving as U.S. attorneys, federal judges, and state attorneys general and solicitors general. When the metric includes just state attorneys general and solicitors general, the school is No. 5. More

According to research completed by the Public Service Center in July 2017, the Law School is No. 2 in the number of graduates serving as state attorneys general.

Outside of government, alumni pursue a range of public interest and nonprofit careers.

Hundreds of alumni are judges, including at federal appellate courts, state supreme courts and a judge on the World Court.

High-profile graduates have a history of public service: Alums include Robert F. Kennedy ’51, Ted Kennedy ’59, Robert Mueller ’73, former Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño, former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ’83, and numerous governors and state legislators.

Alumni have had amazing careers in academia — UVA President Jim Ryan ’92 is an alum, and Elizabeth Magill ’95 served as UVA provost before being named president of the University of Pennsylvania. Napolitano also served as head of the University of California system.

And graduates are supported through the Virginia Loan Forgiveness Program and a range of salaried fellowships and sources of funding for summer jobs. The Public Service Center also operates an alumni mentoring network to give UVA Law students on the fast track to understanding their future field.

The UVA Law Network

UVA Law has more than 20,000 alumni in all 50 states and more than 60 countries, allowing graduates access to a network that is geographically diverse.

Read more about the UVA Law Network.
 

Where Our Graduates Go, Classes of 2019-21

  • Firm: 69% (626)
  • Clerkship: 20% (184)
  • Public Interest: 9% (84)
  • Corporate: 1% (11)
  • Academic: 0.1% (1)
  • The Law School awarded 31 Powell and Kennedy Fellowships to graduates working for public interest and nonprofit employers. More

Law Firms

  • 83% with firms in American Lawyer's top 100 by gross revenue
  • 6% with firms ranked between 100 and 200
  • 2% with large international firms (not ranked by American Lawyer)
  • 9% with smaller and boutique firms

Clerkships

  • 5 U.S. Supreme Court
  • 112 U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal
  • 153 U.S. District Courts and other federal courts
  • 40 state courts

2019-2025 terms. Some alumni clerked at multiple courts.

Public Interest Jobs

  • 18 federal government
  • 18 state or local government
  • 9 military
  • 39 public interest groups

Top Job Locations

  • District of Columbia (213)
  • New York (213)
  • Texas (86)
  • Virginia (85)
  • California (67)
  • Pennsylvania (24)
  • Georgia (23)
  • Ohio (19)
  • Maryland (14)
  • North Carolina (13)
  • Tennessee (13)
  • Delaware (12)
  • Illinois (12)
  • Colorado (11)
  • Massachusetts (11)

First-Year Summer Jobs, Class of 2023 (Summer 2021)

Some students held multiple positions.

  • 23% public interest groups
  • 20% firm
  • 20% judicial
  • 19% academic
  • 13% federal government
  • 8% corporate
  • 4% state or local government

American Lawyer Top 100, Classes of 2014-20

Members of the classes of 2013-2021 practice in all 100 of the 2021 American Lawyer Top 100 firms.

Rank Firm
1 Kirkland & Ellis
2 Latham & Watkins
3 DLA Piper
4 Baker McKenzie
5 Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
6 Sidley Austin
7 Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
8 White & Case
9 Hogan Lovells
10 Jones Day
11 Ropes & Gray
12 Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
13 Norton Rose Fulbright
14 Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
15 Davis Polk & Wardwell
16 Greenberg Traurig
17 Weil, Gotshal & Manges
18 Sullivan & Cromwell
19 Cooley
20 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
21 King & Spalding
22 Mayer Brown
23 Goodwin Procter
24 McDermott Will & Emery
25 Covington & Burling
26 Reed Smith
27 Paul Hastings
28 Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
29 Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr
30 Milbank
31 Debevoise & Plimpton
32 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
33 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
34 Morrison & Foerster
35 Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
36 Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
37 Dechert
38 Holland & Knight
39 Squire Patton Boggs
40 K&L Gates
41 Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
42 Perkins Coie
43 Proskauer Rose
44 Willkie Farr & Gallagher
45 Winston & Strawn
46 Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer
47 Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath
48 Foley & Lardner
49 Troutman Pepper
50 Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton
51 Shearman & Sterling
52 Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
53 Alston & Bird
54 O'Melveny & Myers
55 McGuireWoods
56 Cravath, Swaine & Moore
57 Baker & Hostetler
58 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy
59 Vinson & Elkins
60 Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson
61 Hunton Andrews Kurth
62 Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
63 Seyfarth Shaw
64 Baker Botts
65 Venable
66 Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith
67 Katten Muchin Rosenman
68 Polsinelli
69 Littler Mendelson
70 Fox Rothschild
71 Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough
72 Fenwick & West
73 Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
74 Cozen O'Connor
75 Duane Morris
76 Jackson Lewis
77 Crowell & Moring
78 Barnes & Thornburg
79 Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo
80 Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton
81 Nixon Peabody
82 Blank Rome
83 Locke Lord
84 Womble Bond Dickinson
85 Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft
86 Akerman
87 Fish & Richardson
88 Jenner & Block
89 Davis Wright Tremaine
90 Schulte Roth & Zabel
91 Cahill Gordon & Reindel
92 Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani
93 Haynes and Boone
94 Ballard Spahr
95 Husch Blackwell
96 Dorsey & Whitney
97 Steptoe & Johnson
98 Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel
99 Loeb & Loeb
100 Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz
Alums

5/10/15/25: How’s Life After Law School?

What are your classmates up to? We check in with Anna Casey ’17, Elizabeth Woodley ’12, Courtney Dredden Carter ’07 and E. John Park ’97.

More