Students at UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law know they are heading into a tough job market.
But most land work, and the vast majority stay in Nevada.
Of the 161 students who graduated in 2012, just 21 still were looking for jobs in February, according to the American Bar Association.
A total of 117 reported staying in Nevada. Four students accepted jobs in Utah, and two took positions in Texas.
Boyd students tend to stay local because they develop personal and professional ties here, UNLV law Professor Nancy Rapoport said.
Most of the law school’s students are valley natives. And the university encourages immersion in the local law community.
Danielle Tarmu, a 2009 Boyd graduate who now works for the Wetherall Group, said UNLV helped her make connections that led to her first job out of law school.
Students are required to meet with the Career Development Office during their first year to start planning for the future, said Layke Stolberg, Boyd’s director of career development. The university also urges students not only to maintain good grades but to complete internships and externships that can help them secure employment.
When Stolberg graduated in 2006 from the Boston University School of Law, students with mostly academic resumes still could snag jobs. But times have changed, and students sense it.
Stolberg said she thinks students today are better consumers when it comes to getting the most out of their law school experience.
“I don’t know if we were doing the same soul searching that students are now doing,” she said.
Cost also plays a factor. Law school is expensive.
Tuition at UNLV costs about $23,900 a year for Nevada residents. Out-of-state students pay $34,900.
The average starting salary for a Boyd graduate was $66,996 in 2011. The national average was $78,600.