Big Law Still Loves Columbia Grads

Columbia Law School remains a darling of Big Law.

According to the American Lawyer’s “Go-To Law Schools Report,” the school sent 68 percent of its 2017 graduating class to first-year associate jobs at the 100 largest firms in the United States, more than any of its competitors.

The University of Chicago Law School, at 60 percent, and NYU Law School, 57 percent, followed .

Overall, the top 100 law firms in the U.S. hired 4,199 new law graduates in 2017.

Columbia graduates fared particularly well at Davis Polk & Wardwell, which hired 24 of its grads, and Debevoise and Plimpton, which hired 18.

The school was a firm favorite at Cleary Gottlieb, which hired 19 graduates. Cleary’s managing partner, Michael Gerstenzang, is a Columbia Law alum.

“We value all our law school relationships and recognize how fortunate we are to develop such a strong pipeline of Columbia students,” Cleary Gottlieb partner Liza Lenas said In an email to Big Law Business.

One area where Columbia ranked lower, however, was in the number of associates promoted to partner. Harvard topped that ranking with 62 alums moving up in 2017. Only 27 associates from Columbia made it to partner last year, according to the report.

A representative for Columbia Law’s career services department couldn’t be reached for comment.

The Go-To rankings don’t include graduates working as clerks, some of whom may have offers to start at BigLaw firms once they finish.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Russell-Kraft at

To contact the editors on this story: Casey Sullivan at and John Crawley at