Excel professionally.

Vanderbilt Law graduates consistently secure top-tier legal employment with private and public employers across the nation and around the world.

Calculations based on the  ABA compilation of employment outcomes data  (  ) indicate that Vanderbilt stands among the nation’s leading law schools on key employment outcomes such as the percentage of total 2021 graduates employed in:

  • full-time, long-term positions as lawyers (90.1% | 11th)
  • full-time, long-term federal judicial clerkships (8.3% | 13 th )
  • full-time, long-term positions as lawyers in law firms with more than 100 attorneys (64.1% | 7th)

Please note that the ABA does not rank law schools based on employment outcomes.

With more than 80% taking employment outside Tennessee, Vanderbilt graduates enjoy national geographic mobility supported by the school's longstanding relationships with legal employers coast to coast and its global alumni network. Scroll down for more information about the geographic spread of our graduates’ employment destinations.


J.D. Class of 2021


Vanderbilt J.D. Class of 2021 total graduates


Ninety-six percent of 2021 graduates were employed 10 months after graduation.


Ninety-one percent of 2021 graduates were employed in full-time, long-term positions as lawyers.


Eighty-five percent of employed 2021 graduates took positions outside Tennessee across 23 states, Washington, D.C., and abroad (84% of 2017-2021 graduates took positions outside Tennessee across 41 states, Washington, D.C., and abroad).


LAW.com 2022 Top 50 Go-To Law Schools that sent the highest percentage of 2021 graduates to associate jobs at the largest 100 firms (39% | 13th).


Above the Law Top 50 Law Schools 2022, based on employment outcomes, cost, and student debt.


Vanderbilt ranked 7th, “Best Schools for Public Service,” PreLaw Magazine, Winter 2016.


$190,000 | $65,056

Private sector median salary $190,000 (mean $172,492) based on 130 of 142 graduates. Public sector median salary $65,056 (mean $65,154) based on 31 of 42 graduates. National private sector median $115,000. National public sector median $61,143. (Sources: NALP employment summary for the Vanderbilt JD Class of 2021 and NALP Class of 2021 National Summary Report).


I was impressed with Vanderbilt’s job placement numbers. Its strong national reputation and ability to place students in coveted positions was a significant factor in my decision to come here.

LUKE KESSEL | JD/MSF Class of 2022 | Associate, K&L Gates, Charlotte, NC

Choose your path.

For the Classes of 2017 through 2021, the top eight employment destinations among VLS graduates have been:


New York






Washington, D.C.









The remaining 26.1% took employment across another 34 states and internationally.

I wanted to return to D.C. to practice. When I talked to attorneys in Washington, they specifically told me that they recruited at Vanderbilt and looked favorably upon Vanderbilt Law graduates. That was a huge selling point for me.

NICK PRENDERGAST | Class of 2022

Associate, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Washington, DC

Expert advice. Excellent outcomes.

The  Career Services Guide   ( ) offers extensive information about VLS career planning resources and VLS employment outcomes, including graduates' employers and locations, as well as summary statistics and national benchmarks for employment status, employment type, geographic location, and salaries.

VLS Career Services hosts a large On-Campus Interview session each fall for second-year students that attracts legal employers hiring for locations across the nation, and VLS students interview with top-tier employers in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Washington, D.C. through off-campus interview sessions.

Working with the Legal Aid Society was a really great opportunity to build upon the pro bono programs offered to students at VLS and to connect with our small but mighty community of students pursuing public interest work.

EMILY BURGESS | Class of 2022

2022-24 Clerk, Judge Travis McDonough ’92,

Eastern District of Tennessee