After the JD -- Wave 1: A Longitudinal Study of Legal Careers in Transition Data Collection: May 2002-May 2003, United States (ICPSR 26302)
Principal Investigator(s): Garth, Bryant G., Southwestern Law School; Sterling, Joyce, University of Denver. Sturm College of Law; Sander, Richard, University of California-Los Angeles. School of Law
Summary: The After the JD project is designed to be a longitudinal study, seeking to follow a sample of approximately 10 percent of all the individuals who became lawyers in the year of 2000. It is the largest and most ambitious study ever undertaken by researchers of legal careers aiming to track the professional lives of more than 5,000 lawyers during their first 10 years after law school. Wave 1 of the After the JD study was launched in May 2002. The sample includes new lawyers from 18 legal markets ?... (more info)
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Garth, Bryant G., Joyce Sterling, and Richard Sander. After the JD -- Wave 1: A Longitudinal Study of Legal Careers in Transition Data Collection: May 2002-May 2003, United States. ICPSR26302-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-07-15. doi:10.3886/ICPSR26302.v1
Persistent URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR26302.v1
This survey was funded by:
- American Bar Foundation
- Access Group, Inc.
- Law School Admission Council
- National Association for Law Placement, Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation
- National Science Foundation (NSF Grant No. SES 0115521)
Scope of Study
Summary: The After the JD project is designed to be a longitudinal study, seeking to follow a sample of approximately 10 percent of all the individuals who became lawyers in the year of 2000. It is the largest and most ambitious study ever undertaken by researchers of legal careers aiming to track the professional lives of more than 5,000 lawyers during their first 10 years after law school. Wave 1 of the After the JD study was launched in May 2002. The sample includes new lawyers from 18 legal markets – ranging from the 4 largest markets (New York City, District of Columbia, Chicago, and Los Angeles) to 14 other areas consisting of small metropolitan areas to entire states. More detailed results can be found under: <a href="http://www.americanbarfoundation.org/publications/afterthejd.html">American Bar Foundation Web site</a>. Lawyers’ career trajectories provide a window through which we can analytically examine mobility and movement within the profession, exits from the profession, the effects of educational debt, and job satisfaction within the legal profession. This information is valuable in advising and attracting potential applicants to law school, counseling students while in law school, and working with alumni and practitioners when they join the profession. Some of the topics the study on new lawyers seeks to examine are: (1) Demographic characteristics; (2) financing of legal education; (3) law school and the transition to practice; (4) practice settings within which lawyers work; (5) distribution of income across the profession; (6) dimensions of satisfaction; (7) mobility and turnover. For the most part, the first wave reveals an expected pattern of stratification related to law school attended and grades achieved. The majority of respondents are still working in their first jobs and they are located predominantly in private firms. Many have not yet married and most do not have children yet. In short, the After the JD study aims to create a definitive picture of how the careers of lawyers develop in the early twenty-first century. Building on this first wave, the future work of AJD will employ follow-up questionnaires six and ten years into the respondents’ careers. Respondents were asked to give information concerning their employment status, when they started working for their current employer, organizational type, their position within the organization, and how many hours they were expected to bill during a typical week. Furthermore, they were asked to report the division of time allocated for different types of legal matters as well as the percentages involving specific types of clients. They were queried on the different tasks they completed during the past three months and which of those happened on a recurring basis. Their views were sought on changes they would most like to see in their job. They were queried on the proportion of men and minorities in their workplace. Views were sought on how satisfied they were with a range of facets of their job including level of responsibility, recognition, opportunities for advancement, compensation, relationships with colleagues, intellectual challenge, amount of travel, and job security. They were also asked if they had experienced different forms discrimination in the workplace based on their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. Respondents were asked what factors were most important in obtaining their first job after law school, what factors influenced their decision to work in their chosen law setting, and what factors they thought were most important from the organization's view point of making a job offer to them. Information was gathered on respondents participation in a variety of organizations and settings including political parties, PTA and other school organizations, College alumni associations, charitable organizations, gender-based organizations, religious organizations, the American Bar Association, community associations, private clubs, and organized sports leagues. A number of questions were asked about the respondent's educational background including the year they received their undergraduate degree, where they earned their undergraduate degree, their cumulative undergraduate grade point average, undergraduate class rank, undergraduate major, whether they went directly to law school, if not, what they did during the interim, where and when they received their law degree, their cumulative law school grade point average, class rank, and other graduate level degrees they held. Respondents were queried on the importance of various factors in their decision to attend law school and what elements of their law school education and preparation helped most in making the transition to their early work assignments as a lawyer and in their professional career. Demographic variables include employment status, personal income, household income, job history, sex, race, age, political party affiliation, parent's nationality, parent's education, parent's occupation the while respondent was in high school, whether anyone in the respondent's family was a lawyer, marital status, spouses occupation, and number of children that live with the respondent for a significant portion of the year.
Subject Terms: activism, attorneys, careers, economic indicators, educational background, employment discrimination, family background, harassment, income, job history, job opportunities, job satisfaction, job security, job skills, law school students, mentoring, occupational mobility, participation, student financial aid, time utilization, training, work environment, workplaces
Geographic Coverage: Atlanta, Boston, California, Chicago, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Houston, Illinois, Indiana, Los Angeles, Massachusetts, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York (state), New York City, Oklahoma, Oregon, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tennessee, Texas, United States, Utah
Date of Collection:
Unit of Observation: individual
Universe: Persons who first became members of a state bar in the year 2000, and who graduated from law school in the period July 1, 1998, through June 30, 2000, in the United States.
Data Types: aggregate data, survey data
Data Collection Notes:
Variable labels for values AQ57 through AQ61 were corrected.
Variables AQ33l1RE, ASAMPLE_, APOS1EYR, and APOS1F contain unknown codes.
Sample: The JD study utilizes a two-stage scientific sampling approach, first selecting among metropolitan areas (or non-metropolitan portions of states) to obtain a wide geographic and population size distribution of geographic areas, and second, selecting individuals who meet individual eligibility criteria. In the first stage, the nation was divided into 18 strata by region and size of the new lawyer population. Within each stratum one primary sampling unit (PSU) was selected -- metropolitan area, portion of a state outside large metropolitan areas, or entire state -- was chosen. The PSU's included all four major markets, those with more than 2000 new lawyers (Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC); 5 of the 9 large markets, those with between 750 and 2,000 lawyers; and 9 of the remaining smaller markets. In the second stage, individuals were sampled from each of the PSU's at rates that would, combined, generalize to the national population. Additionally, an oversample of 1,465 new lawyers from minority groups (Blacks, Hispanic, and Asian American) was added. The final sample included just over 9,192 lawyers in the eighteen PSU's. More information about sampling is available in "After the JD: First Results of a National Study of Legal Careers" A joint publication of the NALP Foundation for Law Career Research and Education and the American Bar Foundation (2004).
Wave 1 awt_nat_nr (N = 32,895) National Sample Selection Probability Weight was adjusted for nonresponse. The weight should be used with the National Sample Cases when making estimates of the characteristics.
Wave 1 awt_min_nr (N = 3,530) Minority Sample Selection Probability Weight was adjusted for nonresponse. The weight should be used when making estimates of the characteristics of minority persons.
Wave 1 awt_comb_nr (N = 32,436) Joint National/Minority Sample Selection Probability Weight was adjusted for nonresponse. The weight takes into account the possibility that an individual could be selected into both the National and Minority Samples, thus it adjusts for the probability of dual selection.
Mode of Data Collection: mail questionnaire, telephone interview, web-based survey
Response Rates: The number of eligible individuals for AJD Wave 1 is 4,538 which equals a response rate of 71 percent.
Extent of Processing: ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
- Created variable labels and/or value labels.
- Created online analysis version with question text.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 2010-07-15
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