Record-setting class of students begin studies at McGeorge School of Law

A group of 23 students pose on the steps of a staircase outdoors

A group of first-year students are pictured after McGeorge School of Law's Oath of Professionalism Ceremony on Friday, August 11. 

The University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law welcomed 246 new students to campus last month. Campus brimmed with energy as students arrived on campus for Orientation from Aug. 7-11 for an action-packed week of events celebrating the start of the new academic year.

The incoming students bring a range of experiences and talents to their studies. The class includes former collegiate athletes, semi-pro athletes, musicians, business owners, educators, and several students who have served in the military. One student hiked the entire Pacific Coast Trail – a 2,650 mile hike that takes about five months – before orientation.

Collectively, the new class speaks or signs 29 different languages, including Armenian, American Sign Language, Cantonese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, Tagalog, and Ukrainian.

“The incoming class is filled with bright minds eager to embark on a journey of legal education. Their enthusiasm and potential invigorate our campus, and they represent a tapestry of exceptional backgrounds and experiences,” said Michael Hunter Schwartz, dean of McGeorge School of Law.

JD students

The 202 Juris Doctor (JD) students in this year’s entering class include 57 percent women and 38 percent first-generation college students. The incoming class set a record for the law school’s highest enrollment of students who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. This year, 27% of first-year JD students identify as LGBTQ+.

For the second year in a row, a majority of the incoming class of students identify as racially or ethnically diverse. In fact, 54.4% percent of students in the class are from marginalized populations, surpassing even last year’s cohort, which had a record-setting 51% of students from marginalized populations. Learn more about McGeorge’s incoming JD class here.

“I was extremely excited to welcome the incoming class to campus. I am thankful to everyone who played a role in recruiting this class of future legal professionals. Our students exemplify the values of integrity, dedication, and excellence,” said Valerie D. James, Senior Assistant Dean for Admissions, Financial Aid, & Diversity Initiatives.

The class brings a diversity of educational backgrounds, with 50 different undergraduate degrees from 74 different colleges and universities being represented.

The entering class had excellent LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs, maintaining the steady progress the law school has made in growing student entrance credentials over the past six years.

Many of the students bring prior work experience to law school, including community leaders, owners of non-profit organizations, paralegals, court clerks, reporters, notaries, counselors, and more.

174 of this year’s JD students are enrolled in the full-time program, and 28 are enrolled in the part-time, evening program.

Master’s students

Ten students began their studies in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Public Policy (MPP) programs.

Notably, 80 percent of the MPA and MPP class are from marginalized populations, which is the highest percentage in the institution's history for these programs. Additionally, this year’s class of MPA students is comprised of 70 percent women.

Two students enrolled in the program are pursuing a dual JD/MPP degree. The dual degree program allows students to enhance their legal education with rigorous policy and leadership education.

Graduate, Online, and International Program students

McGeorge also welcomed 34 Master of Laws (LLM) students, Master of Science in Law (MSL) students, exchange students, and visiting scholars to the Sacramento campus last month.

Members of the new class of LLM students are enrolled in one of school’s three programs, Transnational Business Practice, U.S. Law & Policy, and Water & Environmental Law. The cohort is comprised of former professors, scholars, judges, and prosecutors. 75 percent of the LLM students are women and 45 percent identify as racially or ethnically diverse.

This year’s class of Graduate, Online, and International Program students come from from 10 different countries, including Afghanistan, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, India, Iran, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, and the United States.

Members of the new class of MSL students are specializing in one of five different degree concentrations, which include Business Law, Government Law & Policy, Health, Human Resources, and Water & Environmental Law. 67 percent of the incoming class of MSL students are women, and 46 percent are members of marginalized populations.

For more information on applying to McGeorge School of Law, visit

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