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The NALP Foundation and NALP Release Joint Alumni Study for Canadian Law Schools

The Canadian Law School Alumni Employment and Satisfaction Study queries graduates of the Class of 2019.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

The NALP Foundation and NALP today released their sixth joint study, Law School Alumni Employment and Satisfaction, for Canadian alumni of the Class of 2019. The new data shows intriguing shifts within graduates three years after graduation, including:

Mobility: Overall mobility remains high, with 65% of alumni reporting they have already held two or more positions since graduating, although the number of employed alumni (14%) indicating they were actively seeking a new job declined.

Reasons for Job Changes: “Better compensation/bonuses,” (54%) “attitude ‘fit’ concerns,” (41%) and “desire for mentors or role models” (40%) were the leading drivers for job changes. Nearly five times as many female alumni as their male peers cited a spouse’s relocation as the motive for their job change (19% vs. 4%).

Satisfaction with Aspects of Current Roles: Alumni gave the highest ratings to “job security” and “attitude or fit with organization’s culture,” followed closely by “level of responsibility you have,” while they gave the lowest rating to “civic/public service opportunities.” For the second consecutive year, “support for well-being/mental health” received the second lowest satisfaction level.

Mental Health and Well-Being: Troublingly, over one-half (55%) of graduates reported the ongoing pandemic had a negative impact on their mental health and well-being, however this represents a decrease from the Class of 2018’s 61% who reported this.

Post-Graduate Position Recruitment Timing: Practicing alumni obtained their first post-graduate job through various channels, although the bulk (49%) stated this occurred during their 2L year. Only 8% reported this took place their 1L year, while the remaining respondents reported this occurred during their 3L year (27%) or after graduation (16%).

“The report makes clear that Canadian graduates as a whole are not only gainfully employed, but that they have high professional satisfaction levels,”noted NALP Foundation President & CEO, Fiona Trevelyan Hornblower. “However, the pandemic's ongoing negative mental health impacts, and the troubling disparities between genders merit attention from all in the legal profession.”

"The higher satisfaction levels measured for lawyers working from home is surprising, and stands in contrast to the findings of a parallel U.S. survey that found similarly situated lawyers working solely from home reported lower overall job satisfaction than those working either full-time in the office or in a hybrid schedule," noted NALP’s Executive Director Nikia L. Gray. "None of us knows what the future of work will look like, but remote work seems not to be a barrier to satisfaction for many of the respondents to this survey.”

This year’s study reflects data collected from 363 Class of 2019 alumni from 5 Canadian law schools. Data collection took place between November 2022 and January 2023. All Canadian law schools were invited to participate. In addition to the topics noted above, the report also contains detailed information, segmented by gender identity and race/ethnicity on Employment Status, Compensation, Career Trajectory, Efficacy of Law School Preparation, Experiential Education, and Key Skills for Practice.

The full PDF report for Canadian law schools is available for purchase from the NALP Foundation at The comparable report for U.S. law school alumni is also available there.

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