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ASU Law welcomes its most highly credentialed and diverse class

man wearing see through mask speaking to class

ASU Law Dean Douglas Sylvester presents to students in-person and via Zoom at orientation ahead of classes starting Aug. 19.

August 18, 2020

Ranked a top seven public law school in the nation and No. 24 among all law schools according to U.S. News & World Report, the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University continues to be a premier choice for law school students around the country.

Continuing its streak, ASU Law welcomes its most highly credentialed class for the third year in a row. The incoming fall 2020 Juris Doctor students have a median LSAT score of 165 and a median GPA of 3.83, ASU Law’s highest ever and up from last year’s 164 and 3.81.

The class is also the most diverse in ASU Law’s history with one-third identifying as students of color.

The group hails from more than 100 undergraduate institutions, 40 states and seven countries, with more than 60% from outside Arizona. Forty-seven percent of the students are women and more than 10% identify as LGBTQ. In addition, nearly 30 students are the first in their immediate family to graduate college.

On top of setting records for entering credentials and diversity, ASU Law again broke its record for JD applications at more than 4,700, a 28% increase over last year, while nationally applications remained nearly flat.

“While these numbers are impressive and drive us to continue our growth as one of the nation’s best law schools, I am even more humbled by the magnitude of students wanting to be a part of ASU Law in these unprecedented times,” said ASU Law Dean Douglas Sylvester. “The current health and economic conditions of our country, and the state of Arizona, put pressures on our students that no class has had to face in recent memory. Our faculty and staff are working hard every day to provide our incoming students with the most exceptional law school experience possible – in the way they feel most comfortable. That is why we are giving every student the choice of how they want to participate through in-person classroom experience (ASU immersion), online (ASU Sync) or a hybrid of both. The safety of our students, faculty and staff continues to be our top priority, and we look forward to making this a strong year.”

A total of 265 students will be taking first-year JD classes, and every first-year JD student is awarded a scholarship once they are admitted. Students have the opportunity to tailor their education with over 250 unique courses and several programs and externships to match their interests.

students being taught and physically distancing in a classroom

Incoming ASU Law students had the opportunity to participate while physically distancing and wearing masks during orientation sessions before classes begin Aug. 19.

ASU Law also offers nearly 50 student organizations, many appealing to diverse personal and career interests. These organizations include the Asian Pacific American Law Students, Black Law Students Association, Diverse Students Coalition, Environmental Law Society, Federalist Society, Women Law Students’ Association, and many others.

For individuals who want to expand their knowledge of the U.S. legal system and enhance their career opportunities without becoming an attorney, ASU Law offers a one-year Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree. The MLS program enrolled 31 new MLS students and over 200 MLS online students. The MLS graduate program continues to identify trending industry needs to provide students with new focus areas of legal study, such as contract management, corporate and health care compliance, construction law and Indian gaming and self-governance law programs, all without becoming a lawyer.

The Master of Sports Law and Business program that blends sports, law and business welcomed 54 new students, including those who are part of the Veterans Sports Law and Business program. Additionally, the Master of Laws (LLM) program welcomed six new students.

More than half of incoming students in all of ASU Law’s master's degree programs identify as people of color and over 60% are female. Fifty-six percent also hail from out of state.

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