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SU Law Class of 2009 orientation invites new students to intellectual, community engagement
SU Law Class of 2009 orientation invites new students to intellectual, community engagementAugust 28, 2006Jaclyn D. Grossojgrosso@law.syr.edu
This week, the Syracuse University College of Law welcomes its 111th first-year law class. Two hundred sixty-two students arrived on Aug. 21 for a weeklong orientation program that included a formal convocation with SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor and Melanie Gray L’81, a member of SU’s Board of Trustees. Convocation included roundtable discussions and lectures by various alumni and internationally recognized legal experts, as well as small-group meetings with nearly 30 alumni who returned to campus.
This year’s class also benefits from the newly created Office of Student Life, which helped plan the expanded orientation program. The office provides academic counseling, professional support and leadership training, and will develop new programs to enhance the opportunities for student success.
“The enhancements made to our orientation program have been well-received by our students,” says Tomas Gonzalez L’05, assistant dean of student life. “From movie night to the student picnic to the community service project, our law students have had many opportunities to interact with their new classmates before classes begin.”
For the first time ever, law students participated in a community service program in which they were separated into small groups and sent to nine Syracuse schools to clean, landscape and prepare buildings for the first day of classes. In addition, the students will work in conjunction with a school representative to establish a comprehensive list of improvements. Throughout the semester, law students will request donations from local businesses and the community to meet the schools’ needs. (Left: First-year SU law student Luis E. Ormaechea helps with landscaping at Blodgett School on Aug. 23.)
“Our student life programming is unique and prepares these individuals for the legal profession and develops strong leadership skills,” says Dean Hannah R. Arterian. “With our new Office of Student Life, our outstanding faculty and staff, and the strong academic credentials of this class, we are ready to launch into a very promising year.”
Entering students come from 34 states and 19 countries. While the average student age is 24, the range in age spans more than 20 years. Nearly 40 percent of first-year students are female; while students of color account for 23 percent. More than 55 percent of the students are non-New York state residents representing 150 undergraduate colleges and universities; nearly 10 percent have advanced degrees.
“We’re very proud of this incoming class and the diverse backgrounds that they bring to the classroom,” says Nikki Laubenstein, director of admissions.