The 195 members of Vanderbilt Law School’s J.D. Class of 2012 were selected from the school’s largest pool of applicants ever, according to Dean of Admissions Todd Morton. “Our applications rose by 11.8 percent over 2008 to reach an all-time high of 4,851,” Dean Morton said. “Comparing 2005 and 2009, the national pool of applicants to all law schools decreased by 10 percent, while Vanderbilt’s applicant pool has increased by 41 percent. Prospective students seem to be as enthusiastic as we are about this very special place in American legal education.”
The members of Vanderbilt’s first-year class collectively represent 38 states, the District of Columbia and Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Nigeria and Norway, and 102 colleges and universities. Their median age is 23, but 30 percent are age 25 or older. Forty-eight percent are women.
Four first-year students earned their bachelor’s degrees at foreign universities, including the London School of Economics, the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Tsinghua University, and the University of York. Thirteen Vanderbilt first-years hold advanced degrees, including Master’s degrees in the liberal arts, science, accounting, divinity, business and public policy. One student holds a Ph.D. in psychology.
Members of the entering J.D. class had a median undergraduate GPA of 3.71 and a median LSAT score of 168, placing them at the 96th percentile among test-takers. “The students in this year’s entering class come with sterling academic credentials as well as a broad spectrum of valuable experience,” Morton said. “Two of our first-years were Rhodes Finalists. One interned at the Supreme Court; another was a Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Counterterrorism Fellow. A number have worked for federal agencies or as aides to senators, members of congress and White House officials as well as for state governments, prosecutors or public defenders and courts. Our students also include four U.S. military veterans who served in Iraq and another who served in the Korean Army Augmentation to the U.S. Army.”
Because 60 percent of the entering class graduated from college at least one year before arriving at Vanderbilt, “These students bring a wealth of experience in a variety of areas, including business, science, education, technology, community service and public policy,” Morton said. In addition, the class includes native and second-language speakers of 24 languages in addition to English, and collectively has lived or worked in 41 foreign nations.
The law school also welcomed the 29 members of Vanderbilt’s LL.M. Class of 2010. “The educational environment is greatly enhanced by the inclusion of LL.M. degree candidates in the student body,” Morton said. “These foreign-educated lawyers come for one year of advanced study and research. They are an accomplished group of professionals who work alongside J.D. students and build mutually beneficial relationships.” Members of the LL.M. Class of 2010 represent China (13), France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan (4), Korea (2), Mexico (2), Nigeria, Thailand (2), and the United Kingdom.
“It’s my pleasure to welcome a group of extremely bright, accomplished students to Vanderbilt Law School,” said Dean Chris Guthrie. “While the members of the entering J.D. and LL.M. classes come from diverse backgrounds and have diverse interests, they share a common bond of academic achievement and a commitment to contribute to our community and the profession.”