Another class of St. Thomas Law graduates was in high demand last year. The law school recently reported that by 2022, 90% of graduates would be 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 statutory license, or where having a JD provides a significant advantage in performing or obtaining the position.
“These employment results demonstrate that the School of Law is fulfilling its mission of preparing students for meaningful careers, with the practical skills and personal qualities that legal employers are looking for. We are proud of our graduates who serve their clients and communities as they work for justice and build stronger societies,” said law school deputy dean Joel Nichols.
The Class of 2022 employment rate ranks St. Thomas Law among the top schools in the nation 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%
St. Thomas Law was listed as No. 96 of the country’s nearly 200 law schools in the 2024 ranking. It is the highest ranking the school has received in its history and the first year the school has been among the top 100 law schools belongs. Last year, St. Thomas was ranked 127.
For the first time in this year’s ranking, U.S. News weighed each school’s employment rate for fresh graduates more heavily in its methodology and included full-time, long-term scholarships in the employment rate. This change resulted in the inclusion of graduates of St Thomas Law participating in the school’s Archbishop Ireland Justice Fellows programme.
The fellowship program places graduates of the School of Law with a license in full-time, one-year positions that work on the civil law needs of individuals who otherwise could not afford attorney assistance. Recent placements include 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 good example of how the law school lives up to its mission and serves the public interest,” said Nichols. “Our graduates are placed in positions that directly impact the lives of marginalized populations and serve the needs of those who may have difficulty accessing our justice 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, emphasizing professional education, mentorship and practical training. Multiple law school offices and programs, with the Career and Professional Development Office as coordinator, support students with goal setting, coaching, networking, and relationship building.
“It is gratifying to know that our commitment to excellence in legal education is being recognized,” said Nichols. “We will remain committed to being a law school that is innovative and forward-looking, while providing a legal education that prepares lawyers to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”