Published January 8, 2024
Embarking on a journey through law school is an exhilarating experience, but what lies beyond those lecture halls and case studies? The University at Buffalo School of Law's Class of 2022 has set an impressive example, with 84.96% employed in full-time, long-term positions requiring bar passage or those jobs where a law degree might not be required, but gives the candidate a real edge (“JD advantage”) and a myriad of career paths. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the diverse opportunities awaiting law graduates and how concentrations and experiential learning at UB School of Law play a pivotal role in shaping these professional trajectories.
If you’re aspiring to work in chambers, UB School of Law's commitment to providing access to top-notch opportunities shines through. A notable 3.3% of the Class of 2022 found themselves employed in judicial clerkships. The journey to such esteemed positions often involves focusing on legal research and writing, skills honed through courses and further enhanced through experiential learning like advocacy courses, law review, and externships. Networking with judges and attorneys, including so many of UB Law’s adjunct instructors and alumni, is also a bridge to these coveted roles, emphasizing the importance of early applications. Career services has partnered with our faculty who have served as judicial clerks to offer a comprehensive application preparation team when students apply for judicial clerkships.
Extensive legal research, opinion drafting and collaboration with judges define the routine. Clerks often have the responsibility for running pretrial conferences and sitting in on trials so that are aware of the legal issues that might need a ruling. It's not just a job—it’s a pivotal role in the justice system, where legal insights become the building blocks of fair and reasoned judgments. At the end of their terms, judicial clerks often find themselves with a world of possibilities because of their clerkship experience.
Government and public interest roles might be attractive to you if you have a passion for social justice. A commendable 28% of UB School of Law's Class of 2022 found their calling in these arenas, whether serving as government attorneys or advocates for public interest causes. Several students received prestigious fellowships from organizations like the New York State Excelsior Office and Immigrant Justice Corps. Concentrations in criminal law, advocacy, or environmental law align with government attorney positions, while hands-on experience through clinics or externships give students the real-world skills for these jobs.
Government attorneys handle matters ranging from criminal prosecution to regulatory compliance, while public interest attorneys champion civil rights, housing, immigration, elder rights, environmental protection, and so much more. Their work extends beyond courtrooms, from helping individuals with asylum cases or preparing a power of attorney to public policy initiatives.
The majority of UB School of Law's Class of 2022—55% to be exact—found themselves in private practice, a testament to the law school's commitment to placing students in coveted positions. Some private practice attorneys concentrate in areas like civil litigation, insurance defense, personal injury, employment law, real estate, estates and trusts, finance, intellectual property, or family law, while others have a general practice, serving various types of clients. Experiential learning opportunities, such as trial team, appellate advocacy, ADR courses, internships or clerkships, offer invaluable insights into the day-to-day of a private practitioner. Our career services office helps students gain summer and academic year jobs help them gain exposure to different types of law firm practices.
Meeting clients, conducting legal research, drafting documents and representing clients in court become routine for associate attorneys. As lawyers gain more experience, and when they become partners or start their own firms, they also take on leadership roles, work on client development, and contribute to their firm’s growth and stature in the community.
Not everyone who excels in law school envisions themselves arguing in a courtroom or negotiating a corporate merger. UB School of Law recognizes this, with 9.2% of the Class of 2022 venturing into business and industry, and 0.8% with a niche in education. These law adjacent positions offer a unique intersection of legal knowledge and diverse fields, showcasing the adaptability of legal education.
For legal consultants, compliance officers, and legal tech specialists, working in those industries during law school can provide a significant benefit. Many UB Law students intern, extern, or work summer jobs in corporations, agencies, and departments that provide a look into business and industry roles. Graduates working in JD advantage positions draw on their expertise to provide advice and navigate legal complexities, compliance officers ensure organizational adherence to legal standards, and legal tech specialists leverage technology to enhance legal processes.
University at Buffalo School of Law doesn't just equip you and fellow students with legal knowledge but fosters a dynamic environment where your aspirations can come to life. The Class of 2022 serves as a testament to the various paths awaiting law graduates, and it's the unique blend of concentrations and experiential learning opportunities that can propel you toward success. Whether in the hallowed halls of justice, the bustling world of private practice, or at the intersection of law and various industries, UB School of Law ensures that its graduates are well-prepared to make a lasting impact.