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 (as of June 2019).

No. 4 in the number of partners in the National Law Journal's top 500 firms, according to Legal Compass (June 2018).

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 after Harvard 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.


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 2005-18. 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 2015-17

  • Firm: 70% (668)
  • Clerkship: 17% (159)
  • Public Interest: 11% (107)
  • Corporate: 3% (28)
  • Academic: .4% (4)
  • The Law School awarded 57 Powell and Kennedy Fellowships to graduates working for public interest and nonprofit employers. More

Law Firms

  • 77% with firms in American Lawyer's top 100 by gross revenue
  • 8% with firms ranked between 100 and 200
  • 3% with large international firms (not ranked by American Lawyer)
  • 12% with smaller and boutique firms


  • 3 U.S. Supreme Court
  • 83 U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal
  • 119 U.S. District Courts and other federal courts
  • 22 state courts

Some alumni clerked at multiple courts.

Public Interest Jobs

  • 23 federal government
  • 48 state or local government
  • 28 public interest groups
  • 8 military

Top Job Locations

  • New York (225)
  • District of Columbia (193)
  • Virginia (116)
  • California (81)
  • Texas (62)
  • Pennsylvania (24)
  • Massachusetts (22)
  • Maryland (20)
  • Georgia (19)
  • Delaware (17)
  • North Carolina (17)
  • International (16)
  • Florida (15)
  • Ohio (13)
  • Colorado (11)
  • Tennessee (11)

Campus Recruiting, Fall 2017

  • More than 675 offices
  • Over 5,900 on-campus interviews of second-year students

First-Year Summer Jobs, Class of 2019 (Summer 2017)

Several students held multiple positions.

  • 26% federal government
  • 25% firm
  • 15% judicial
  • 15% academic
  • 11% public interest groups
  • 9% state or local government
  • 6% corporate

American Lawyer Top 100, Classes of 2012-17

Among the 2017 Am Law 100, members of the classes of 2012-17 have practiced in at least 94 of the 100 firms, ranked by gross revenue.

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

5/10/15/25: How's Life? We Catch Up With What Alumni Are Doing 5, 10, 15 and 25 Years Out of Law School

What are your classmates up to? We check in with Georgia Varlan Man '12, David P. Saunders '07, Kalere Jacob Coleman '02 and Michael C. Wu '92.