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College of Law ranked among best for Hispanic students


September 04, 2007

ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is one of the top law schools in the country for Hispanic students, according to the September issue of Hispanic Business magazine.

The college is ranked seventh among the top 10 in the publication’s annual “2007 Best Law Schools for Hispanic Students.” The magazine, which also rated business, engineering and medical schools, based its selections on enrollment, faculty, student services, retention rates and national reputation.

"From its inception, the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law has served a diverse student population of Hispanics, Native Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and women,” says Patricia D. White, the college’s dean. “From the first incoming class in 1967 and in the 40 years since, the college has produced a large number of minority attorneys who now lead the community.Our location in the heart of the Southwest makes us a natural home for Hispanic students who feel comfortable in this multicultural setting, and we are pleased to have been recognized as one of the best law schools in the country for them.”

In Hispanic student enrollment and degrees earned by Hispanics, the College of Law performed well, according to the magazine’s research. Fifteen percent of its 629 students are Hispanic, and 13 percent of the juris doctor degrees awarded by the college are earned by Hispanics. Seven percent of its full-time faculty also is Hispanic.

Hispanic students are drawn to the college because of its “mentoring, moot court, clerkships at top law firms, vibrant student organizations, pro bono opportunities and a supportive academic environment,” the magazine reported.

The schools on the 2007 top 10 list are:
1. University of New Mexico School of Law in Albuquerque.
2. University of Miami School of Law in Coral Gables, Fla.
3. University of Texas-Austin School of Law.
4. University of Southern California Gould School of Law.
5. American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C.
6. Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee.
7. Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
8. Stanford Law School in Palo Alto, Calif.
9. University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in Tucson.
10. Florida International University College of Law in Miami.

Martin Quezada, a third-year law student and past-president of the college’s Chicano/Latino Law Student Association, credited the faculty, support from the Arizona Hispanic Bar Association and students themselves with helping to vault the law school into the top tier.

The Chicano/Latino Law Student Association at ASU is proud to have played a role in reinforcing commitment to diversity as an essential part of the success of all lawyers preparing to enter an increasingly Latino U.S. population,” Quezada says.

Hispanic Business ranked the colleges using data it obtained from questionnaires sent to 170 law schools across the country. Points were awarded for the number of Hispanic students enrolled, the percent of full-time Hispanic faculty members among total full-time faculty, and the number of special recruitment and mentorship programs for Hispanics and student support organizations available to them.

Also factoring into the ranking was the number of Hispanic students returning for their second year of law school, and the reputation of the college, based on U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools 2007.” The magazine first started ranking law schools in 1998.

To read the College of Law’s profile and for more information on the rankings, visit www.hispanicbusiness.com.