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ASU Law welcomes largest, most diverse and highest credentialed class in its history

Photo of ASU Law Co-Interim Dean Zachary Kramer speaking to first-year law students at fall 2021 orientation

ASU Law Co-Interim Dean Zachary Kramer speaks to new incoming law students during orientation as the college begins its fall semester.

August 18, 2021

The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University will welcome its most highly credentialed class for the fourth year in a row, with the incoming fall 2021 Juris Doctor students holding a median LSAT score of 166 and a median GPA of 3.85, ASU Law’s strongest ever. It is also the largest class in school history, with over 300 first-year JD students attending this fall.

ASU Law also continues to make strides with diversity as it welcomes the highest number of students of color in its history, comprising nearly one-third of incoming first-year JD students. Additionally, women and nonbinary students make up nearly half of the class; LGBTQ students make up over 10%.

“These numbers reflect the environment that ASU Law has sought to establish and embody every day — a special institution that gives our students the best possible legal education and is inclusive and responsive to their needs,” said ASU Law Co-Interim Dean Zachary Kramer.

“We are really looking forward to seeing what this amazing class will achieve and are grateful to our wonderful faculty and staff who work so hard to make ASU Law the innovative and dynamic institution it is today,” added ASU Law Co-Interim Dean Adam Chodorow.

Ranked the No. 25 best law school and No. 9 public law school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, ASU Law also set a record for the fourth year in a row for the number of JD applications it received — more than 5,700, up over 20% from last year. Applications to ASU Law’s JD program have tripled in the past five years.

Over 60% of the JD class comes from outside Arizona, with students hailing from more than 130 undergraduate institutions, over 35 states and eight countries.

In addition to the JD, ASU Law offers a one-year Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree for individuals who want to expand their knowledge of the U.S. legal system and enhance their career opportunities without becoming an attorney. This fall, the MLS program enrolled 175 new MLS in-person and online students. The MLS graduate program continues to identify trending industry needs to provide students with new emphasis areas of 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 welcomed 64 new students, including those who are part of the Veterans Sports Law and Business program.

ASU Law added a fifth program to its degree offerings this year with a new Master of Human Resources and Employment Law degree, with over 30 students enrolled in the program as the inaugural class. The Society of Human Resources Management, a premier HR professional organization with more than 300,000 members nationwide and globally, has recognized ASU Law as the first law school whose HR and employment law curriculum is fully aligned with the society's curriculum guidelines.

More than 37% of incoming students in all of ASU Law master’s degree programs identify as people of color and over 63% are female. The master’s degree programs at ASU Law have developed both national and international reputations, with 70% of students from out of state and hailing from 12 different countries.

ASU Law welcomed four new faculty members in the past year, with six additional joining this fall. These professors will increase the college’s expertise in Indian law, intellectual property, advancing equality, antitrust and international relations.

The newest experts include David Franklyn, who is among the nation’s leading intellectual property and technology law experts; Stacy Leeds, the nation’s first Native American female law dean and a prominent Indian law trailblazer; Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America and former top State Department official; and Ehsan Zaffar, prominent civil rights attorney and senior government adviser.

ASU Law’s new faculty have helped the college launch innovative new centers and programs like The Difference Engine: An ASU Center for the Future of Equality, founded and led by Zaffar, and the renowned McCarthy Institute, which Franklyn runs. ASU Law also launched the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs, the first-ever of their kind in the nation.

Located in Phoenix, the nation’s fifth-largest city and fast-growing hot spot to live and work, ASU Law’s Beus Center for Law and Society is in the heart of downtown, close to leading law firms and the broader legal community.

ASU Law students also have opportunities to study in Washington, D.C., at the ASU Barbara Barrett and Sandra Day O’Connor Washington Center. The college will be expanding its West Coast presence with the expected grand opening early next year of the new ASU California Center in the historic Herald Examiner building in downtown Los Angeles. This will not only give ASU Law students access to internships and externships that will lead to job opportunities in California, but it will also provide a place for them to network and study.

Editor’s note: ASU Law’s figures are subject to change before the final American Bar Association reporting deadline in October. Students of color are students self-identifying their primary ethnicity as either Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, Asian or American Indian/Alaskan Native.

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