Orientation and Town Hall Meeting Help to Prepare First-Year Class
LSU Law Center Chancellor Jack Weiss and LSU President F. King Alexander welcomed the first-year class to orientation held on August 15 and 16. When the LSU Law Class of 2016 arrived on campus, the students learned that their class of 178 students includes undergraduate leaders, collegiate athletes, business owners, first generation college students, teachers, nurses, investment bankers, veterans of foreign wars and an executive chef.
“With such diverse backgrounds, we are confident that your class will enhance the richness and quality of education at the Law Center, where students learn from each other as well as from the faculty,” said Jake Henry, LSU Law Director of Admissions.
The Law Center received more than 1,000 applications for the 2013-14 academic year. The first-year class includes graduates from 64 colleges and universities throughout the nation. Women make up 42% of the class and men, 58%. Twenty-four percent of the entering class comes from outside Louisiana.
“Work hard and demonstrate the same work ethic that brought you here,” advised LSU Law Center Chancellor Jack Weiss. “Honor and integrity are hallmarks of this institution. Embrace the notion of honor and integrity in everything you do as future lawyers.”
Also on hand to welcome the first-year class was LSU President F. King Alexander who told the first-year students, “Your impact can impact so many others,” citing the areas of healthcare, poverty and education. “We’re here to help you succeed,” he added.
The first-year class had the opportunity to visit more with Chancellor Weiss at a Town Hall meeting on August 23 where they learned more about the law school.
“Today’s LSU Law Center is a very different law school than five years ago,” said Chancellor Weiss. “We abolished the mandatory summer school because we didn’t think it was good for students seeking jobs. We’ve broadened upperclass course choices, added 20 new faculty members, established the Laborde Energy Law Center, and launched the Journal of Energy Law and Resources, the school’s second student-edited law journal,” shared Weiss.
A particular source of pride for the school, noted the Chancellor, is the increase in diversity of the student body. Since 2007, the overall enrollment of students of color has increase from 10% to 24% in 2013. The percentage of African American students enrolled has increased from 3% in 2007 to 14% in 2013.
Although the Law Center has seen many changes, Weiss assured the students, “We’re not resting on our laurels.” The Chancellor said the Law Center is currently working to strengthen the Civil Law program; develop an “Apprenticeship Week” the first week of January 2014 where students will receive intense instruction in the practical areas of legal education; as well as working to strengthen the Legal Writing program. He also noted that the Student Academic Committee is currently working with faculty on the exam schedule and grading system.
“This process is a balance of our great tradition of producing lawyers known to be highly skilled and valued in the marketplace, with being an ‘agent of change,’” said Weiss.
LSU Law Center is currently ranked the number three Best Value Law School by National Jurist magazine. Chancellor Weiss told the students, “We provide a high quality education at a reasonable price. Although we continue to see a decrease in the state appropriation, we continue to preserve the value proposition of LSU Law.”
Chancellor Weiss told the first-year class to “invest in getting to know your classmates because this will be the most influential group of peers in your life.” He also encouraged students to get to know the faculty and to get involved in student organizations.
Chancellor Weiss encouraged students to visit with him to offer ideas on how the Law School can better serve students. “My door is always open to students, and I am always willing to listen to suggestions, concerns, or to just share a cup of coffee,” said the Chancellor.
Welcome, LSU Law Class of 2016!