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This volume of recruiting activity is a measure of the esteem in which Virginia students are held by legal employers. It has, moreover, resulted in a geographical pattern of job placement that is as diverse as that of any law school in the country. For example, the most popular employment locales for graduates of the Class of 1996 were, after the Commonwealth of Virginia and District of Columbia, New York, California, Georgia, Texas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.
The Career Services Office offers a wide range of services to students seeking permanent and summer employment. In addition to attending to the logistical demands of the fall interviewing season, the Office provides individual placement counseling on subjects ranging from interviewing techniques to strategies for obtaining specific types of jobs to letter and resume writing. It also helps students who are looking for jobs outside the formal interviewing process, by corresponding with and forwarding student resumes to non-visiting employers who have contacted the Office, and by assisting students in locating still other employers who have not contacted the Office, often making use of the comprehensive employer listings contained in the Career Services Library.
The Career Services Office has also developed and maintains an extensive Alumni Career Network, made up of some 2,000 University of Virginia Law graduates who have volunteered to provide advice and assistance to students and graduates in the job market. There is an additional alumni network designed especially for those looking for public service careers.
Other projects conducted by the Career Services Office include panel discussions on various kinds of legal opportunities, including those not generally represented among visiting employers; newsletters for students and graduates; regional job fairs; an annual Public Interest Job Fair; symposia on job search techniques and strategies; and projects designed to promote careers in public service, such as Student Funded Fellowships, which provide stipends to students in summer public-service jobs, and the UVA Public Service Loan Assistance Program, which provides loan assistance to graduates in public service positions.
At graduation in 1996, 331 out of 373 graduates had informed the Career Services Office that they had obtained jobs: 201 with law firms; 68 as judicial clerks; 6 with the Federal government; 10 with city or state government or public interest groups; and 11 with corporations. The remaining graduates engaged in such disparate endeavors as graduate study, military service, accounting, and teaching. Almost all accepted jobs for which the law degree was a prerequisite.
The members of the Class of 1996 accepted positions in 32 states and the District of Columbia. Starting salaries varied considerably with location and type of work. For example, large New York firms offered 1996 graduates $88,000 per year, while similar jobs in large urban areas were generally more than $65,000 and in smaller urban areas generally around $45,000. Jobs with the federal government were in most cases at the $35,000 salary level. Although precise figures are not available, the average starting salary for graduates was estimated by the Career Services Office to be about $68,000.
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