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

Map: Clerkships by 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. 1 in the country in the percentage of Class of 2018 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. 1 in the country in the percentage of Class of 2018 graduates who went directly to firms of 100 or more attorneys or to federal clerkships, according to American Bar Association data (based on full-time, long-term jobs).

No. 1 in Above the Law's 2019 law school rankings, which focus on employment outcomes. More

No. 5 in the percentage of Class of 2018 graduates hired by the 100 largest firms, according to the National Law Journal. More

Salaries for the 216 students going into the private sector in the Class of 2018 reflect these outcomes:

75th percentile: $190,000
50th percentile: $190,000
25th percentile: $190,000

Any job location is within reach, and the UVA Law Network is worldwide. The Class of 2018 obtained large firm jobs in 17 states and the District of Columbia. Overall the school sent graduates to 33 states and D.C.

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

Virginia has graduates in each of the American Lawyer top 100 firms (June 2019).

No. 4 in the number of partners in the National Law Journal's top 500 firms, according to Legal Compass (October 2019).

No. 5 in the country in the number of female graduate attorneys in the American Lawyer top 100 firms (October 2019).

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

No. 6 in the number of associates promoted to partner in the 100 largest firms in 2018, according to the National Law Journal. More

No. 2 in the number of chief legal officers at the nation's top 500 companies, according to a 2014 report by the Law Department Management Blog. More

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.

No. 4 after Yale, Harvard and Stanford in placing clerks on the U.S. Supreme Court from 2005-19. More

No. 4 after Yale, Stanford and Chicago in federal clerkships for the Class of 2018. More

No. 2 (tied) in graduates serving as Bristow Fellows, who work in the U.S. Solicitor General’s Office, from the 2010-19 terms. Bristow Fellowships can be steppingstones to U.S. Supreme Court clerkships. More

No. 5 in the number of graduates clerking directly after law school for the classes of 2014-18, according to ABA data.

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.

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, currently dean at Stanford Law School, will serve as UVA provost. Napolitano is now the 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 2016-18

  • Firm: 72% (651)
  • Clerkship: 15% (140)
  • Public Interest: 10% (90)
  • Corporate: 2% (21)
  • Academic: .2% (2)
  • The Law School awarded 39 Powell and Kennedy Fellowships to graduates working for public interest and nonprofit employers. More

Law Firms

  • 82% with firms in American Lawyer's top 100 by gross revenue
  • 7% with firms ranked between 100 and 200
  • 3% with large international firms (not ranked by American Lawyer)
  • 9% with smaller and boutique firms

Clerkships

  • 92 U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal
  • 109 U.S. District Courts and other federal courts
  • 19 state courts

Some alumni clerked at multiple courts.

Public Interest Jobs

  • 16 federal government
  • 32 state or local government
  • 33 public interest groups
  • 9 military

Top Job Locations

  • New York (230)
  • District of Columbia (212)
  • Virginia (81)
  • California (64)
  • Texas (55)
  • Massachusetts (24)
  • Georgia (20)
  • North Carolina (19)
  • Pennsylvania (17)
  • Mayland (15)
  • Delaware (14)
  • Illinois (13)
  • Ohio (13)
  • International (non-U.S.) (12)
  • Florida (11)

Campus Recruiting, Fall 2018

  • More than 685 offices

First-Year Summer Jobs, Class of 2020 (Summer 2018)

Several students held multiple positions.

  • 28% federal government
  • 27% firm
  • 14% judicial
  • 14% public interest groups
  • 11% state or local government
  • 10% academic
  • 5% corporate

American Lawyer Top 100, Classes of 2013-18

Among the 2018 Am Law 100, members of the classes of 2013-18 have practiced in at least 97 of the 100 firms, ranked by gross revenue.

RANK FIRM
1 Kirkland & Ellis
2 Latham & Watkins
3 Baker McKenzie
4 DLA Piper
5 Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
6 Sidley Austin
7 Hogan Lovells
8 Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
9 Jones Day
10 Norton Rose Fulbright
11 White & Case
12 Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
13 Ropes & Gray
14 Greenberg Traurig
15 Sullivan & Cromwell
16 Weil, Gotshal & Manges
17 Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
18 Mayer Brown
19 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
20 Davis Polk & Wardwell
21 Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
22 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
23 King & Spalding
24 Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr
25 Reed Smith
26 Paul Hastings
27 Cooley
28 Morrison & Foerster
29 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
30 Goodwin Procter
31 Squire Patton Boggs
32 K&L Gates
33 Winston & Strawn
34 Dechert
35 Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
36 Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer
37 Covington & Burling
38 McDermott Will & Emery
39 Shearman & Sterling
40 Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy
41 Proskauer Rose
42 Holland & Knight
43 Debevoise & Plimpton
44 Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
45 Perkins Coie
46 Alston & Bird
47 Willkie Farr & Gallagher
49 O'Melveny & Myers
50 Baker Botts
51 Vinson & Elkins
52 McGuireWoods
53 Cravath, Swaine & Moore
54 Foley & Lardner
55 Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton
56 Baker & Hostetler
57 Seyfarth Shaw
58 Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson
59 Bryan Cave
60 Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
61 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy
62 Katten Muchin Rosenman
63 Hunton & Williams
64 Venable
65 Littler Mendelson
66 Troutman Sanders
67 Locke Lord
68 Faegre Baker Daniels
69 Polsinelli
70 Nixon Peabody
71 Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith
72 Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
73 Duane Morris
74 Drinker Biddle & Reath
75 Fox Rothschild
76 Jenner & Block
77 Blank Rome
78 Williams & Connolly
79 Schulte Roth & Zabel
80 Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton
81 Jackson Lewis
82 Crowell & Moring
83 Fish & Richardson
84 Cozen O'Connor
85 Boies Schiller Flexner
86 Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft
87 Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough
89 Haynes and Boone
90 Barnes & Thornburg
91 Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz
92 Cahill Gordon & Reindel
93 Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel
94 Akerman
95 Fenwick & West
96 Steptoe & Johnson
97 Davis Wright Tremaine
98 Ballard Spahr
100 Husch Blackwell
Laura Prebeck Hang ’14, Allison Muth ’09, Gavin White ’04 and John Nalbandian ’94

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

What are your classmates up to? We check in with Laura Prebeck Hang ’14, Allison Muth ’09, Gavin White ’04 and John Nalbandian ’94.

More