Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

August 18, 2006
Symposium Explores Study on Lawyers' Careers

Early results of "After the JD" Project to be examined at Southwestern Law School symposium on the national study

Once law students pick up their diplomas and pass the bar exam, the career paths they choose vary widely. What influences those paths for the latest generation of lawyers - and how are personal choices and social changes shaping the legal profession?

The first-ever, national longitudinal study of lawyer careers, the "After the J.D." Project, is being conducted to explore such issues, and that study will be the topic of a scholarly symposium to be held at Southwestern Law School on October 9, 2006. The day-long event, "The After the J.D. Project and Urban Legal Careers Symposium," will feature panel presentations by project team members that focus on the early data from this on-going 10-year study.

The multi-million dollar "After the J.D." Project is funded by the Access Group, the American Bar Foundation (ABF), the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), the NALP Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, among others, and is headquartered at the ABF. The study is tracking the careers of nearly 5,000 lawyers who were admitted to the bar in the year 2000 and explores such issues as the role of race and gender, law school grades, law school attended, job settings, and how other factors play into early career moves and the satisfaction that beginning lawyers get from their professional practices.

Sponsored by Southwestern University Law Review and co-sponsored by the ABF and Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA), this symposium will pay particular attention to the careers of urban lawyers and the role of law schools linked closely to urban careers. Southwestern's Dean Bryant Garth, who is also Director Emeritus of the ABF, has served on the Executive Coordinating Committee of the project since its inception, and he will be joined during the symposium by the other principals of the project and leading commentators from the academic and professional worlds.

In addition to Dean Garth, speakers include Robert Nelson, Director & Senior Research Fellow of the ABF and Professor of Sociology and Law at Northwestern University; Joyce Sterling, Professor of Law, University of Denver, College of Law; Ronit Dinovitzer, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto; Paula Patton, CEO & President of the NALP Foundation; John Hagan, Senior Research Fellow of the ABF; John Hagan, Senior Research Fellow, ABF and the John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology & Law, Northwestern University; David Wilkins, Director, Program on the Legal Profession and Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Gita Wilder, Senior Social Science Researcher, NALP; Carroll Seron, Professor, Department of Criminology, Law and Society, University of California, Irvine; Rebecca Sandefur, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Stanford University.

The Southwestern University Law Review is a student-edited quarterly journal that publishes scholarly articles and commentary on the law contributed by prominent jurists, practitioners, law professors, and student members of the Law Review staff. Articles written in coordination with the "After the JD" symposium will be published in the Law Review; copies of the issue will be sent to participants and will also be available for purchase from the Law Review Office. For further information, contact Southwestern's Student Affairs Office.

The symposium will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the historic Bullocks Wilshire Building on Southwestern's campus, 3050 Wilshire Boulevard, in Los Angeles. The cost, including lunch, is $75 for non-Southwestern Alumni seeking 6.25 hours of CLE credit; $50 for Southwestern Alumni seeking 6.25 hours of CLE credit, and members of Symposium co-sponsoring organizations (ABF members and WLALA members); $40 for those not seeking CLE credit. Information on registering for the event can be found in the Law Review section. For a map and directions, click here.