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Employment Opportunities

Harvard Law graduates have a world of career opportunities from which to choose. They are highly sought after by employers in law firms, government, businesses and nonprofit organizations. Some graduates even launch their own businesses.

Employment Data for the Class of 2020

Detailed below is the employment data for the Class of 2020*. In addition, view a comparison of the Classes of 2018, 2019, and 2020.

The judicial clerkship numbers reflect only 2020 clerkships held by graduates who began a clerkship within 10 months of graduation. An approximately equal number of 2020 clerkships were held by HLS graduates from prior classes, reflecting some judges’ preference for clerks to have post-law school work experience. For a fuller picture of clerkships, see Judicial Clerkships from HLS.

A series of charts detailing employment numbers for the class of 2020 at 10 months after graduation. The data is available for download in a PDF further down this page.

Download the Class 2020 employment data (pdf)

*Information on employment outcomes for the Class of 2020 may not reflect a particular law school’s typical results in this area. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, bar admission exams were canceled or delayed in many jurisdictions, thus making it more challenging for graduates to secure employment by the annual Graduate Employment Status Date of March 15. Please reference the 3 years of employment outcome data posted on the ABA Required Disclosures webpage of each ABA-Approved Law School or at www.abarequireddisclosures.org

Per Interpretation 509-2 of Standard 509, law schools may choose to publicize additional employment outcome data beyond what the Employment Protocols require. This additional data, per Standard 509, must be “complete, accurate, and not misleading to a reasonable law school student or applicant.” Law schools are expected to use “due diligence in obtaining and verifying such information.” The following additional employment outcome data has not been, and will not be, audited by the ABA. It is meant to supplement the annual ABA Employment Summary Report, which reflects the employment status of members of each graduating class as of the annual Graduate Employment Status Date of March 15. Please reference the 3 years of employment outcome data posted on the ABA Required Disclosures webpage of each ABA-Approved Law School or at www.abarequireddisclosures.org.

Resources for Students

Harvard Law School is in the fortunate position of being able to award several Public Service Fellowships each year to graduating students. These law school funded positions typically fund employment for a period of a year or more and routinely serve as a gateway to public service employment. The awards are made during a highly competitive process to students whose abilities, backgrounds, and proposals show demonstrated promise for undertaking such work upon graduation. Students also have access to international fellowship opportunities through funding from the University.

In addition, since 2013, Harvard Law School’s Public Service Venture Fund has awarded approximately $1 million in grants each year to help graduating law students pursue careers in public service. It is the first program of its kind at a law school. The fund offers “seed money” for startup nonprofit ventures and salary support to graduating J.D. students who hope to pursue post-graduate work at nonprofits or government agencies in the United States and abroad.