In manufacturing and in law schools, one universal truth always holds: to make the best products, you must start with the best raw material.
Since we are in the “business” of building the best lawyers, I am pleased to report that we begin our Fall Semester 2008 with one of the strongest incoming classes in our history.
In legal education, scores on the preparatory LSAT exam are widely used as an index of potential performance. Last year, our incoming class set a Law Center record with a median LSAT score of 161 – and this year’s class equaled that record. Ten percent of our full-time students hold a graduate degree such as a Ph.D., M.D. and M.B.A. Equally important, we reinforced our standing as one of the most diverse campuses in the country, with minority enrollment climbing to 32 percent.
Part-time programs are under siege by some who see them as a convenient means of achieving higher national rankings. Here’s where I stand: our part-time program has long been a vibrant and integral part of the Law Center, and the numbers speak to the quality of our approach. When data from the 63 students in our part-time program are folded into those from our full-time program, our median LSAT score remains 161 and our median grade-point average is 3.44. You don’t need a Ph.D. or an M.B.A. (which 12 of our part-time students have received) to conclude that our part-time program is a large part of what makes the Law Center a great school.
All told, our new class comes from 84 undergraduate schools, including the University of Texas, the University of Houston and Texas A&M. Please join me in welcoming the Class of 2011 – and I know you share my confidence that they will become terrific lawyers.