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U of M Law School’s Class of 2009 is the strongest academically and the most diverse* class in history

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL ( 9/11/2006 ) --    The University of Minnesota Law School’s entering first year class is the strongest academically and the most diverse* class in the school’s 118 year history. The 258 members of the Class of 2009 enter the Law School with a median GPA of 3.55 and a median LSAT score of 165, which places these students close to the 95th percentile of applicants to law schools nationwide. 

Forty-three percent of the class are women which exceeds last year’s entering class by 4 percent. Twenty percent of the students are minorities. The students represent 28 states and five foreign countries and 118 undergraduate institutions. The largest number of students are from Minnesota, followed by Wisconsin with California as a close third. The Law School has become significantly more selective in its admissions process, accepting less than one in four applicants. The overall goal of the Law School’s admissions process is to recruit diverse and academically strong students who will thrive in law school, and eventually excel as lawyers or in related careers, said Joan Howland, associate dean at the Law School.

In other good news, applications to the University of Minnesota Law School have increased by nearly 27 percent over the past two years at a time when applications to law schools nationwide have decreased by more than 10 percent since 2004.  

The Law School’s nationally and internationally recognized faculty, rich and deep curriculum, world class law library, strong skills training programs, and exceptionally high bar passage and employment rates are factors that combine to make the Law School very attractive to students from all regions of the country, Howland said.

The Law School’s tuition remains the lowest among the nation’s premier law schools which also enhances the institution’s attractiveness, she said. In addition, the Law School has continued to refine its marketing efforts as part of a strategy to attract the most diverse and academically competitive students possible. Along with creatively and aggressively utilizing e-mail as a recruitment tool, the Law School has expanded its attendance at recruitment events at  undergraduate institutions. With the goal of increasing the percentage of women and minorities, the Law School has also begun visiting colleges it has not visited before such as: the University of Texas, San Antonio;  the University of South Carolina; Sacramento State University; Vassar College; Wellesley College and the University of New Mexico.

*The term “most diverse” is used in an inclusive manner to include not only gender and ethnic background, but also geographic origin, educational background, life experiences, sexual orientation, age, etc.