Pacific McGeorge Welcomes the Classes of 2017 and 2018
August 20, 2014
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law welcomed 182 new students for three days of Orientation Aug. 13 through 15, 2014. Classes for new and returning students began on Aug. 18.
Dean Francis J. Mootz III welcomed the students and introduced the faculty and several guests at the oath of professionalism ceremony on Aug. 13 that highlighted a week of Orientation activities such as mock classes and study advice. Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Dorothy Landsberg, '87, and Student Bar Association President Ernesto Falcon, '15, also addressed the new students. Judge Morrison England, '83, administered the oath of professionalism to new students the evening of Aug. 13. Faculty held a reception for new students and families on the Quad after the welcome event.
Later in the evening on Aug. 13, the Evening Division students attended an alumni panel, "What I wish I Had Known in Law School," featuring Vanessa Hunter, '13; Andrea Moon, '13; Gerald Latasa, Jr., '13; and Kristin Weigle, '11.
Day two included another session for the Day Division students of the alumni panel, "What I wish I Had Known in Law School," featuring Samantha Pottenger, '09, Kristian Corby, ''13, Kevin Khasigian, '07, and Jenny Bain, '12. There was a full schedule of Orientation events, including faculty presentations, legal skill workshops, sample classes, a stress relief interlude and a student activities fair.
Classes of 2017 and 2018
The preliminary numbers on the incoming fall 2014 J.D. Full-Time Day Division class show 122 students, and the J.D. Part-Time Evening Division class includes 34 students. The fall 2014 class also includes 17 LL.M. students and 9 M.S.L. students. The new class includes 2 Kennedy Fellows, full scholarship recipients whose admission honors the dedication to legal education of long-time faculty member Anthony M. Kennedy, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The median LSAT score for the class is 151, and the median GPA is 3.14. The average age of the class is 26, with 57 percent of the class female and 43 percent male. The new class is one of the most diverse in Pacific McGeorge history, with 45% of the class representing ethnic/racial diversity.
Innovative New Curriculum
Pacific McGeorge also launched a new Legislative and Public Policy Clinic last academic year. The clinic, one of several innovative experiential clinics the school offers, allows students to develop legislative and regulatory proposals, then work to see them enacted. Five bills crafted by Pacific McGeorge students progressed through the legislative process in the first year of the clinic (read more).
A review by Pacific McGeorge faculty of the entire curriculum last year led to modernized first-year courses to prepare students for the world of legal practice that is just now emerging:
- Legislation and Regulation, a new required 3-credit course that reflects the reality that administrative agencies play a critical role in our legal system and that legal rules now are primarily articulated in statutes and regulations, rather than through the common law. The substantive knowledge and analytical skills taught in this course are foundational for a number of electives and for practice.
- Analytical Skills Lab Program, a new required 1-credit course on law school skills, covering topics such as case briefing, note taking, study groups, outlining and writing law school exams.
- Legal Profession, a new required 1-credit course designed to prepare students to enter into modern legal practice and assist them in developing a professional identity and a satisfying career path.
An Experiential Curriculum adopted last year requires every student to take several courses in which they learn by doing what lawyers do through clinics, externships and practicums. The law school received an A+ in Practical Training from National Jurist magazine for its Experiential Curriculum this year, ranking 11th in the nation and second in California.