The 193 students who registered for their 1L year at Vanderbilt Law School in mid-August hail from 38 states, D.C., Canada, China and Korea. Collectively, they have worked or studied in 39 countries, from Argentina to Trinidad, and speak 17 languages, from Arabic to Wolof.
“We had nearly 4,000 applicants with room for approximately 190 students,” says Vanderbilt Law School Dean Edward L. Rubin. “The Class of 2010 is a diverse group of very accomplished students, and it has been a genuine pleasure to welcome them to campus.”
Vanderbilt’s Class of 2010 has a median undergraduate GPA of 3.74 and a median LSAT score of 167 (95th percentile). Fifteen students hold advanced degrees in various fields, including medicine, engineering, and public policy. Fifty-one percent are women and 23 percent self-identified as members of minority groups. While the median age is 23, students in the class range in age from 20 to 35. A fifth of class members are age 25 or older.
With the support of Vanderbilt University, the law school has increased its funding for summer public interest stipends, allowing more students to gain law-related experience working for a variety of organizations across the nation and abroad, usually during the summer after the first year. [Read an article about Vanderbilt law students pursuing externships abroad.]
"Applicants to top law schools recognize the advantages that summer stipend programs provide," Dean Rubin said. "Combined with Legal Aid Society stipends and program-based externships, opportunities for our students in this area continue to grow."
Todd Morton, Assistant Dean of Admissions, notes that Vanderbilt Law School has expanded its Loan Forgiveness program for graduates who choose employment in low-paying public service positions. "Prospective students appreciate the support that Vanderbilt provides to graduates who choose public service jobs whether or not they think they may follow that path themselves," Morton said.
Vanderbilt is also building a new admissions interview program through which applicants for admission will be interviewed by alumni across the nation, according to Dean Rubin. “Many of our alumni return to campus each year from law firms throughout the United States and abroad to interview our students for permanent jobs,” he said. “We have a large pool of applicants and a relatively small number of spaces in each 1L class. We realized we had an incredible untapped resource – our alumni – who are in an excellent position to interact with prospective students face-to-face, providing opportunities for the admissions office to learn more about our applicants and for our applicants to learn more about this very special community."