02/29/2012 01:55 pm ET Updated Feb 29, 2012

D.C. Has Three Of The Top 50 Law Schools For Getting Really, Really High Paying Jobs

WASHINGTON -- Want to make gobs of money as a lawyer? Want to make gobs of money and be taught employment discrimination law by a professor facing his second charge of soliciting a prostitute? Read on.

The National Law Journal released its list of law schools that in 2011 sent the greatest percentage of its graduates to the country's biggest law firms.

That surfeit of lawyers in the nation's capital has to come from somewhere. The top 50 list includes three of the D.C. area's seven law schools -- Georgetown, George Washington and Howard.

But D.C. was bested by New York City, which took five slots -- though in a somewhat ironic twist, one of the five, Brooklyn Law School, is in the midst of being sued by disgruntled alumni who say they can't find satisfactory post-graduation employment.

Yes, even among the top 50 schools, the chances of getting a law firm job are increasingly grim -- in 2011, 22 percent of these schools' grads became associates at big law firms; down from 27 percent in 2010 and 30.3 percent in 2009.

Student debt continues to rise, meanwhile. Average law student borrowing rates are so high Congress is becoming alarmed about it.

Still, for those who get the law firm jobs, average starting salaries are compelling. In Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and D.C., it's $160,000; elsewhere, like San Francisco, big firms paid $145,000 to first-year associates.

Below, our sampling of the National Law Journal's top 50 law firm feeder schools.


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