University of New Hampshire

School of Law

Legal Career Path – FAQs

Where will I get a job? How much can I expect to make? What is the average starting salary for a UNH Law grad?

Our graduates secure employment in a variety of legal and non-legal settings in the United States and globally. Starting salaries are hard to predict as there are many variables that impact these figures such as type and size of employer and geographic location. It's better to think of starting salaries in terms of ranges. For example, the most recent graduating class had starting salary ranges from $40,000-$125,000.

Will Career Services find me a job?

Career Services does not function as a placement office. Rather, we teach you the skills you will need when conducting a job search including how to research potential employers.

How many employers recruit at UNH School of Law?

Right now, the legal job market is in a state of flux. Historically, UNH Law has a very healthy fall recruiting program. Last year, 30 employers conducted 188 interviews at UNH Law. We also participated in 18 job fairs around the country. Additionally, 394 employers submitted job postings.

Can Career Services help me find a job outside of New Hampshire?

Yes. The majority of each graduating class secures employment outside of New Hampshire. We have an extensive network of alumni that students can access when doing a long distance job search.

What differentiates UNH Law's Career Services office from other schools' career services?

Because we are a small school, we are lucky to be able to provide students with individual attention. We have an open door policy, so students feel welcome to drop in with a quick question. Students are encouraged to come in as 1Ls, and we work with them throughout their law school career. We also offer career services to alumni through all aspects of their legal career.

What services are available for first year students?

We counsel first-year students on their job searches for summer employment and for after graduation. We provide resume and cover letter writing assistance, conduct mock interviews, offer career guidance and even help in selecting courses for your second year. Of course, first-year students are welcome to attend any panel or program we run throughout the academic year.

Do you need a science/engineering background to pursue a career in intellectual property? What if I majored in history, English, or political science?

To prosecute patents and file patent applications with the United States Patent & Trademark Office, you must have an engineering or science background. If you have a background outside of these fields, you can pursue a career in intellectual property in the areas of trademarks & copyrights.

Will I get a job if I'm not interested in intellectual property?

Yes, you will get a job if your focus is not in intellectual property. In fact, the majority of JD students aren't Patent Bar eligible!

What is the Patent Bar, and when should I take it?

The Patent Bar is an exam administered by the United States Patent & Trademark Office and is required of all patent attorneys. We encourage students to take the patent bar before they graduate from law school for credentialing purposes. Please note that in order to sit for the patent bar you must have a degree in an engineering or science discipline.

Do UNH Law students have opportunities to gain practical legal experience?

A major part of the UNH Law curriculum is to provide students with the ability to gain practical legal experience. This can be done in a variety of ways. By participating in a clinic (criminal practice or civil), a student is allowed to argue in court under the supervision of a practicing attorney, interview clients and draft memos or by participating in an externship.

What is the externship program? When can I participate in one?

The externship program allows students to work in an actual legal setting for academic credit. This is a wonderful way for students to see what attorneys do on a daily basis and to get feedback on their work from an expert in the field. Externships are available to second and third year law students upon the completion of prerequisites.

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