UConn School of Law welcomed one of the most racially diverse and academically accomplished classes in the law school’s 101-year history.
The class of 153 JD students had a median undergraduate grade point average of 3.64, the highest the law school has recorded in at least 30 years. At 160, the median score on the Law School Admissions Test is at the highest level in more than a decade.
People of color make up 31 percent of the incoming JD students, a new record. They include 9.8 percent who identify as Black or African American, 5.9 percent Asian or Pacific Islander, 4.6 percent Latinx or Hispanic, and 11.1 percent who identify as two or more races.
The students represent 87 undergraduate institutions and 49 academic majors. Eighteen percent hold advanced degrees. They come from 20 states and 25 percent are first-generation students, the first in their families to attend college.
The class also contains a remarkable range of experience. It includes several teachers, directors of nonprofit agencies and engineers, as well as individuals with experience in health care, transit, sports management, politics and many other disciplines. Their average age is 26, and 63 percent identify as women.
“This class marks some stellar superlatives for us here at UConn Law,” Admissions Director Lauren Terbush said. “Their varied backgrounds and perspectives are going to make for some very intellectually stimulating classroom discussions.”
In addition to 153 JD students — 122 in the Day Division and 31 in the Evening Division — the law school enrolled 37 students who are seeking LLM (Master of Laws) degrees.
The LLM students, who typically study at UConn Law for two semesters, come this year from 15 nations around the globe. Sixteen are pursuing LLM degrees in U.S. Legal Studies; 10 in Insurance Law; five in Human Rights and Social Justice; four in Governance, Risk Management and Compliance; and two in Energy and Environmental Law.
In addition, 12 exchange students have joined the UConn Law community this fall. They came from eight partner schools in six countries: Belgium, China, Netherlands, Germany, Brazil and Ireland.
“It has been exciting and inspiring to meet the amazing students in our incoming class,” Dean Eboni S. Nelson said. “They bring outstanding credentials, tremendous energy, a multitude of perspectives and a wealth of experience to their studies. I look forward to seeing the many ways they will strengthen and enrich the UConn Law community.”
The new class arrived on campus August 23 and 24 for an orientation program that included presentations and panel discussions, sample classes and campus tours.
“Orientation was amazing,” said Brian McKoy, a 1L student in the Day Division. “While the faculty and alumni and upperclassmen did an excellent job of setting our expectations by expressing how challenging and tough law school is going to be, they did an even better job of expressing to the incoming class that we have access to all of the tools and resources that we will need to succeed.”
Ehren Cahill, a returning second-year student who participated in orientation as a member of the law school’s Diversity Alliance, found the incoming class full of energy and committed to the principles of diversity, equity and belonging that are fundamental to the UConn Law community.
“These 1Ls have a contagious excitement that has energized me for my second year,” Cahill said. “I have especially enjoyed reflecting on the questions and nerves I had last year and how it has transformed into confidence.”