Latest Annual Results Released

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Annual Survey Results Archive

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The latest LSSSE report provides a compelling look at the professional preferences and expectations of law students.  The data from this Report draw from the responses of more than 18,000 students at 69 U.S. law schools who participated in the LSSSE Survey in 2017.

Noteworthy findings from the report include:

Overall Trends

  • Sixty-four percent of respondents indicate a preference for working in one of the private settings, with the remaining 36% preferring public service. This proportion is unchanged from five survey administrations ago and higher than the 30% proportion ten administrations ago (2008).
  • Respondents who come from underrepresented racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds and those expecting the most debt are more likely than other students to both prefer and expect to work in public service settings.

Race and Ethnicity

  • Black respondents are least likely to prefer and expect to work in the same individual setting, with less than half doing so, whereas White respondents (at 60%) are most likely.
  • Almost 70% of Asian American respondents state a preference for working in a private setting, the largest proportion among the four racial and ethnic groups analyzed. Black respondents are most likely to prefer public service settings.
  • Almost one-third of Asian American respondents who prefer public service settings expect to work in private settings, the highest proportion among all the racial and ethnic groups. Black respondents are most likely to prefer private settings but expect to work in public service.

Debt

  • Forty percent of respondents who expect to owe more than $200,000 prefer to work in a public service setting, the highest proportion of all student debt groupings.
  • At 31%, respondents who expect no debt are least likely to prefer working in public service.
  • There is no evidence of high levels of expected debt prompting respondents who prefer public service settings to nonetheless expect to work in private settings (due to the prospect of higher pay).
  • Respondents who expect to owe more than $200,000 are most likely to prefer and expect to work in public service settings.
  • Respondents expecting to owe more than $100,000 are most likely to prefer to work in private settings but expect to work public service.