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College of Law Welcomes New Students at its 2019 Convocation
On Aug. 15, the College of Law welcomed 272 new students at a Convocation ceremony in Dineen Hall, including 185 in the residential juris doctor program (Class of 2022); 50 in JDinteractive, the college’s online law degree program (Class of 2023); and 29 pursing a master of laws in American law (Class of 2020).
The new students heard from College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise, Syracuse University Provost Michele G. Wheatly and Henry M. Greenberg L’86, President of the New York State Bar Association, who thanked the students on behalf of a “grateful profession” for choosing to become lawyers.
Greenberg noted that the students must reckon with a profession rapidly changing in terms of technology, diversity and a public loss of faith in the “institutions that lawyers built.” “The communities where you have settled—or will settle—need lawyers,” he said. “They need our wisdom, our expertise, and our special gift to see both sides of an issue.”
“At Convocation, new students commit to studying the law by reciting the College’s Oath of Professional Education. I have no doubt that this year’s diverse, talented and ambitious community of scholars will, in the words of the oath, ‘cultivate creativity and an open mind and be receptive to new ideas,'” says Dean Boise. “I look forward to following the progress of these eager students and to discovering the impact they will have on the college, their communities, the legal profession and society at large.”
Illustrating the college’s strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, 35 percent of the new juris doctor and master of laws students identify as students of color; there is a nearly even mix of men and women; 53 students are the first in their families to attend college; and 17 are veterans or active duty military members. Among the students, 28 countries and 36 states are represented and at least 25 languages are spoken.
Whereas the residential juris doctor cohort’s average age is 24, that of the JDi Class of 2023 is 35, illustrating the attractiveness of the JDinteractive program to non-traditional students, those seeking to supplement their credentials or change careers.
LSAT and GPA scores for all incoming juris doctor students once again are strong. The 75th percentile LSAT score (157) improved one point over that for the Class of 2021, which matriculated in 2018. The incoming students’ average GPA holds steady at 3.61. Further demonstrating the academic strength of the incoming cohorts, 36 students (J.D. and LL.M.) hold a master’s degree or higher diploma, and four students hold doctorate degrees.
Many of the LL.M. students are already practicing lawyers in their home countries. Moreover, this academic year the college hosts three employees of Saudi Arabia’s Institute of Public Administration. Other international students arrive in Syracuse thanks to growing government and academic partnerships in Brazil and Mexico.
“This year’s LL.M. class is composed of a truly impressive group of students attracted to Syracuse through meaningful partnerships and institutional relationships. I am proud to say that with these students, we have added four new countries to our ranks: Belgium, Hungary, Tanzania and Vietnam,” says Assistant Dean of International Programs Andrew S. Horsfall L’10. “This experienced group of scholars and practitioners includes five Open Society Fellows; two Disability Rights Fellows; two Civil Society Leadership Fellows; two Palestinian Rule of Law Fellows; and one Fulbright Scholar.”