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, and American Bar Foundation; Sterling, Joyce, University of Denver. Sturm College of Law; Sander, Richard, University of California-Los Angeles. School of Law
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. This study aims 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. Some of the topics that the study 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. Respondents were asked to give information concerning their employment status, job responsibilities, professional skills, job support, job satisfaction, and job discrimination. Information was sought about respondents' workplace characteristics, employment details, areas of practice, clientele, billing hours, job history, judicial clerkships, bar admission, alternate career considerations, and job offers. Opinions were collected about what respondents thought the most important factors were in obtaining a job offer and their first job, in determining which sector to begin their professional career, and in choosing an employer. Further questions asked about political participation and participation in social and community organizations. A number of questions were asked about respondents' undergraduate education, their transition to law school and decision to attend law school, their law school education and activities, their educational financing and debt, and their transition to their legal career. Demographic variables include sex, race, age, marital status, household makeup, personal income, household income, spouses' occupation, political party affiliation, parent's nationality, parent's education, parent's occupation when the respondent was in high school, and whether anyone in the respondent's family was a lawyer.