Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law was ranked No. 46 in terms of graduate employment out of all United States law schools this year by “Above the Law,” a commercial law blog.
The blog made its inaugural 50-school list using a formula that included employment data, large firm placement, federal clerkship placement and tuition.
Moritz scored 39 points out of a possible 100. The top spot went to Yale Law with a score of 85.87.
Earlier this year, Moritz earned the No. 36 spot in the 2013 U.S. News and World Report rankings, which are based on 12 criteria with employment only constituting 20 percent.
Linda Jones, senior director of career services for Moritz College of Law, said that the best feature OSU’s program offers is individual attention.
“The most important services that we have are working with students individually to make sure that they are prepared to enter the job market,” Jones said. “Every single student is assigned to an individual adviser. “
In order to maintain its standing among the elite law schools in the country, both private and public, the Moritz’s career services department has created and expanded programs to get its students and graduates jobs.
One of these programs is the Moritz Corporate Fellowship Program, which places recent graduates at in-house legal counsel offices for corporations in the area at a pay rate comparable to judicial courtships. Jones said the program is unique to OSU.
“No other school has done that. I know there are a couple now that are looking into it and trying to do it,” Jones said. “Everybody has gotten a job from it.”
The 3-year-old program has grown from three participating companies to 21.
Jones said the most important factor determining post-graduate employment is a willingness to try for a job ahead of time.
“There are students who never come in to career services and then they think that we don’t do anything,” Jones said. “They just want to have us hand them a job … That would be nice and easy but that’s not the way the economy works.”
Another successful and more common Moritz program has been Career Start Grants, in which those who have passed the bar exam can request to work at a company while receiving payment from a university grant.
“(The grants) have been extremely successful,” Jones said. “A number of people have actually gotten jobs from them (or have) gotten jobs that are related to the field.”
A third program is the 1L Academy, a semester-long introduction to law for new students. It includes a session with local practitioners, resume and cover letter workshops and a mock interview program in which students practice and learn from actual employers. It’s another one of OSU’s special offerings, Jones said.
“I think there are some (schools) that do something similar, but nobody does anything quite like the 1L academy,” Jones said.
Some students at Moritz don’t feel that the college’s efforts are effective.
“I certainly know a lot of people including myself who do not have jobs right now,” said Lindsey Silverblatt, a graduate student in law. “Whatever we’re doing isn’t necessarily working just because I know so many people that don’t have jobs.”
Silverblatt doesn’t entirely blame Moritz, though.
“I feel like there’s like passively a lot of things (Moritz does to help) but maybe there could actively be a few more things, but there’s also way too many lawyers for the number of jobs available,” Silverblatt said. “It’s not totally (Moritz’s) fault at all.”