NALP's Fuzzy Definition of 'JD Advantage'

, The Am Law Daily


The National Association for Law Placement is touting the record percentage of law school graduates in "JD advantage" jobs, but much of the work involved doesn't require legal education.

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What's being said

  • Barry

    " It is clear that many positions in administration, compliance, regulatory fields, high-level human resources, energy, policy-making and several other industries would best be served by someone with a JD."

    First of all, that‘s claimed a lot, but not backed up. Second, nobody has shown that the JD advantage of getting such jobs is worth the cost (in years and dollars) of law school. Third, when examining those percentages by the state of the economy, they go up with a worse economy and job market. Fourth, when examining those percentages by the employment rank of the school, they go up as the rank goes down.

  • More than Simple

    Look, I spent many years in a FT/LT/Bar required position and was miserable and made roughly the same as I do in a FT/LT/JD Advantage position I have now. NALP could likely use a few more categories to define the business subset, but you have no idea what you are talking about. JD Advantage is defined. It requires a view from the employer‘s viewpoint, not the employees. And, JD Advantage positions have been on the rise for years. There are more than a handful of students at every law school with no intention of ever taking a bar examination and/or no intention of practicing law. By God, I was on the cutting edge in the 1990‘s when I headed to law school to not practice law at all. I ended up practicing for a number of years by choice, then later by necessity in the recession. Now, fortunately, I found my way back toward my original path, with a twist, and the happiness that a JD Advantage position brings to me.

  • Simple

    Like hundreds of other "lawyers" who discuss the topic of employment statistics, Mr. Leichter fails to perform the most elementary due diligence about how information is gathered and the professional standards followed by both NALP and those within the law schools. There are several levels of review and specific definitions for each category, including but not limited to "JD Advantaged" jobs. F- for this report.

  • JD fan

    This article ignores the strengths of JD Advantage jobs and their desirability among recent law school graduates. It is clear that many positions in administration, compliance, regulatory fields, high-level human resources, energy, policy-making and several other industries would best be served by someone with a JD. The truth is, the right JD Advantage job has long been the end game for many practicing attorneys ready to leave firm life. If JD Advantage jobs are sought after by senior attorneys, what is wrong with new attorneys accepting them as a career path? One of the greatest values of a JD is the wealth of transferable skills that is provides. Even the writer of this article is in a JD Advantage position...

  • SK

    Law school graduates have opportunities outside the legal field as well. Their legal education, for example, can provide a great leg-up in a start-up environment. Check out for a job board of these types of jobs.

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