University of Arizona Law Reaches Academic, Diversity Milestones with New Class of LawCats

Sept. 24, 2021

The fall 2021 incoming class is among the strongest academically in college history

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law welcomed new faces to campus this August – in Arizona, online and abroad – kicking off the college’s 106th academic year.   

A diverse group, the combined JD and Advanced JD entering class includes 139 students representing 63 undergraduate institutions, 31 states, 9 Native Nations, and 8 countries.   

Women make up more than half of the incoming class, and 31% are students of color, including 11 indigenous students. This year’s entering JD class is also among the strongest academically in the college’s history with a median LSAT score of 163 and a median GPA of 3.66.  

The JD class is joined by more than 1,600 undergraduate students who are pursuing a BA in Law degree, the first undergraduate law program in the U.S. The group is a part of the largest incoming first-year class in University of Arizona history – more than 8,700 students.   

The reach of the BA program has extended to new global collaborations and microcampuses. This fall there are nearly 450 students working towards the BA in Law at Ocean University in Qingdao China, several dozen students studying for the BA at American University Phnom Penh, and more than 50 students as part of the new dual degree partnership between the College of Law and Hanoi Law University in Vietnam. Students in each of those programs will earn a BA in Law from the University of Arizona and a law degree from their home institution.  

Graduate education at University of Arizona Law continued to expand this year, attracting students from around the world looking to advance their skills. The Master of Laws (LLM) program welcomed 12 students to the General LLM and six to the International Trade and Business Law LLM. In addition, two students joined the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) LLM, along with four new students working to obtain their SJD from the IPLP program. Students across all LLM programs represent 18 countries and two indigenous communities.  

The Master of Legal Studies program also gained an additional 112 students, bringing the total count to more than 400 pursing the advanced degree. Graduate certificates in Health Law saw an increase in enrollment, with 19 students added to the growing program. With the inclusion of this semester’s new cohort, more than 160 students are in the process of completing one of Health Law’s four graduate certificates – a notable feat for a program only in its third year.    

A year of many firsts, the new class of JD, AJD, SJD, and LLM law students includes several first-generation Americans, first-generation college students, and first-generation law students. Many students are aged 30 or older. The group also includes students with notable distinctions including collegiate athletes, former Peace Corps members, published authors, Fulbright Award winners, podcast producers, an editor of a comic book anthology, musicians, and performance artists.   

Dean Marc L. Miller joined the entire faculty and staff in celebrating the new class. “All our new students come to Arizona Law with rich lives and personal experiences, relationships, geographies, politics, religions, and perspectives. Our entire community is enriched by each new LawCat.”