Record Number of Applicants Applied to W&M J.D. Program in 2007-08
William & Mary Law School welcomed a new 1L class August 18. The Class of 2011, 220 strong, were chosen from 4,585 applicants, a record for the Law School and an increase of 7.8 percent from last year's 4,250 applicants. Nationwide, there was a slight downturn in J.D. applicants. Class members represent 38 states and Washington, D.C., as well as Ghana and Kenya.
"The large increase in applications for this 1L class is a tribute to the many strengths of William & Mary Law School," said Faye Shealy, Associate Dean for Admission. "We received 4,742 applications overall for our various applicant groups (J.D. 1L, transfer, visiting, and LL.M.), a record number and a high degree of recognition for our law school. Our incoming students are an impressive group of aspiring citizen lawyers, and we are truly honored that such highly-qualified individuals seek a legal education at William & Mary. They each have a resounding welcome to the Law School family and to the world of law."
The new 1Ls received undergraduate degrees from 122 different colleges and universities, 15 in Virginia, and 107 colleges and universities in other states and D.C. The College of William & Mary and the University of Virginia are the leading undergraduate institutions represented by 13 percent of the new class. The leading out-of-state feeder schools with three or more entering students are Brigham Young University, College of the Holy Cross, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, University of Florida, University of Maryland at College Park, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Notre Dame, Pennsylvania State University, Princeton University, Siena College, and the U.S. Military Academy. The entering class has a median undergraduate grade point average of 3.64 and a median LSAT of 164 (90th percentile).
Ambrosia Mosby graduated from Carleton College in 2005. Prior to law school, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic and worked as a legal assistant at Stone and Caldwell in Richmond.
"I chose William & Mary Law School for a variety of reasons," Mosby said, "including affordability, location, great recommendations from a number of attorneys here in Richmond, and my experience on a visit to campus. In a nutshell, William & Mary Law School seemed like a good overall fit, and I can't wait to start!"
The predominant majors studied by the entering class were political science, economics, history, English and philosophy. Many other disciplines are also represented, including, for example, accounting, Asian studies, history, computer programming, recreation and hospital management, international business, fine arts, finance, marketing, mechanical engineering, music, physics, religious studies, nursing, sociology, Spanish and urban studies. In addition, the class has 17 members who have earned Master's Degrees.
Mark Knee graduated from Oberlin College in 2005 and worked for three years in Washington, D.C. as a paralegal specialist in the National Criminal Enforcement Section of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. The Charleston, S.C. native said, "I chose William & Mary Law School because it seems like a very inviting place that will provide me with an excellent legal education without being cutthroat. I was also impressed by how accessible and helpful the deans were while I was making my decision."
Many in the class distinguished themselves academically. For example, sixteen 1Ls have been honored with membership in Phi Beta Kappa.
A 2004 graduate of the College of William & Mary, Brian Cannon was featured as one of Richmond's movers and shakers in last summer's edition of Style Weekly's Richmond Top 40 under 40. His list of accomplishments includes jobs as director of YRichmond; as a special assistant to former Governor Mark Warner, while in office and during Warner's early presidential campaign; as a change management consultant for BearingPoint, Inc., and as a teacher at Richmond's Huguenot High School. As a W&M undergraduate, he founded the first student-run political action committee, now known as Virginia21. The PAC, which was formed to support a bond campaign for higher education, has morphed into a nonprofit advocacy group that works to motivate young adults through a nonpartisan, issues-based agenda.
Why did Cannon choose William & Mary Law School?
"Marshal-Wythe has a great tradition of public service and is a leader in teaching legal skills to its students," said Cannon. "Knowing a number of law graduates from my time as an undergrad, I'm excited to join their ranks and hope to match their commitment to the public good."
Brianna Coakley graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree. She will be awarded a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics in politics and communications this coming December. Coakley is a former gymnast who now coaches gymnastics and is a USA Gymnastics Judge.
"I don't really have any fancy reason for selecting William & Mary Law School," Coakley said, "other than I liked it better than any other school. The environment seemed overwhelmingly friendly, and aimed to support students. I am still surprised that when I call with questions, I get to speak directly with a dean. I am very excited about what William & Mary has to offer."
In addition to the Class of 2011 J.D. candidates, the Law School community welcomed six transfer students, three visiting students, and four exchange students from China, Mexico and Spain. Sixteen students have joined the Law School community for one year of study in the American Legal System Program as LL.M. candidates. These students are from China, Georgia, Nigeria, Panama, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.