Vanderbilt has admitted its most diverse class ever from its largest pool of applications, according to Dean of Admissions Todd Morton.
The 191 students who entered Vanderbilt’s 1L class this August hail from 37 states, the District of Columbia, and four foreign nations. More thanhalf of the class – 53 percent — are women, and 23 percent represent ethnic minorities. They represent 106 undergraduate schools, and 14 of them hold advanced degrees.
Although the median age of members of Vanderbilt’s 1L class is 23, 23 percent are age 25 or older. “Most members of the class graduated from college at least one year before arriving at Vanderbilt, so they collectively bring a wealth of experience from a variety of different backgrounds,” Morton said. “Their backgrounds include business, science, education, technology, community service, public policy and graduate training in a number of fields. Many have worked in government, from Capitol Hill and federal agencies, to state legislatures and municipal offices across the nation. Others have worked as paralegals with large and small firms across the nation and for prosecutors, public defenders, or courts in various locations.”
Members of the class speak Arabic, Czech, French, German, Guarani, Gujarti, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Quechua, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swwahili and Thai.
“Vanderbilt received the largest number of applications in our history – more than 4,300 – and we’ve attracted one of most talented and interesting first-year classes among the nation’s leading law schools,” Morton said “The class includes a Fulbright Fellow, a former college professor, a CPA, a ballet choreographer, a former Nashville police officer, an NIH research fellow, Peace Corps volunteers who served in Paraguay and Moldova, five Eagle Scouts, the former captain of an autonomous robot design team and a former Shanghai Hongku District Court clerk.”
"While the members of the Class of 2011 have diverse backgrounds, they have a common trait: They excelled academically,” Morton said. “Collectively, members of Vanderbilt’s 2008-09 1L class posted a median college GPA of 3.72, and they show outstanding promise for law studies with a median LSAT score of 168, which is the 96th percentile of all students taking the LSAT.”
Classes for 1Ls started on Aug. 18, when all 1Ls took a new, required one-week introductory course, “The Life of the Law,” developed and taught by Professors Tracey George and Suzanna Sherry.