"The Pride of Indiana": An Empirical Study of the Law School Experience and Careers of Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington Alumni

Jeffrey Evans Stake, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Kaushik Mukhopadhaya, Emory University
Timothy A. Haley, Indiana University Maurer School of Law


This article is the first report on the results of the Indiana Law Alumni Survey, conducted on Indiana University Law School - Bloomington alumni over the last six years. The survey asks for responses from law alumni five and fifteen years out of law school to examine their reflections on their experiences with law school and their experiences in their careers. Extensive data are collected on alumni careers, type of practice, hours of work, income and job satisfaction, as well as personal and family characteristics. The results show that Indiana alumni were active students, and are generally very satisfied when they think back to their law school experiences. Indiana alumni found law school particularly satisfying intellectually. Women were particularly satisfied with their law school experience. Students' participation in extra-curricular activities and employment may be indicative of their future career plans, as it seems that students chose to participate in activities they believed would help for the particular career they wanted to pursue. We also find that, after graduation, Indiana alumni use their talents and skills to undertake successful careers in a variety of professional settings while attempting to balance work with family life. Traditional gender roles affect family life and career as male alumni are more focused on earning income and are more likely to be the primary breadwinner in any marital relationship, while our female alums report significantly greater childcare responsibilities. Women, Blacks, and Hispanics tend to be found in greater proportions as government attorneys, public interest attorneys or acting as corporate counsel, and the women who go into private practice tend to be found disproportionately in the larger law firms. Women and Blacks report lower incomes than men who are predominately found in private practice, while they report similar job satisfaction. Women tend to report higher levels of satisfaction with their families. The personal traits of the examined lawyers and the family choices they make can have profound effects on their careers.