A note from the Dean

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Douglas Sylvester
Welcome to the inaugural issue of ASU Law News. We hope to use this newsletter to keep you better informed of the goings on at the College as well as the extraordinary achievements of our alumni and associated legal communities. This issue comes during an “interesting” time in legal education—law schools have come under considerable negative attention in the national media and law school applications are way down (nearly 25 percent over the past two years). Finally, increases in the costs of legal education combined with the downturn in legal employment have forced many law schools to rethink large parts of their program.

Although we at ASU have certainly not avoided these trends, I am happy to report that we are handling them better than any other law school in the country. For the second year in a row, we have enrolled our highest credentialed entering class — with a median LSAT of 163 and a median GPA of 3.65. Our extraordinary Admissions Office does this with a much smaller scholarship budget than almost any of our peers — and they deserve our thanks. This amazing entering class joins a vibrant and talented group of 2L and 3L students, and I hope you get a chance to meet as many of them as possible.

One way to meet them, of course, is to attend our Alumni Weekend on Oct. 26-27. This year, and as long as I am Dean, Alumni Weekend will ALWAYS coincide with the University’s Homecoming Weekend so you can always plan on coming back to the law school then.

Our alumni support this past year was fantastic. During a difficult time for many, we raised a record amount from our alumni and increased alumni participation by more than 33 percent. There is still much to be done to further connect each of you to the College of Law, so please contact us any time with ideas or thoughts on how better to reconnect. As you can see, this newsletter should give you a very small sense of some of the amazing things our alumni are doing — so please let us know if you hear of other alums worthy of note in our next edition.

Finally, a word on the progress of this institution. The efforts of this amazing staff, faculty, and student body are beginning to be nationally recognized. Based on last year’s US News & World Report, we are now ranked No. 26 overall and No. 8 among public law schools. In addition, our legal writing program is ranked No. 8, and we are a top school for clinics and mediation. We expect to rise in the rankings again this year. It is an exciting time for this law school but there is still much to be done. I look forward to doing even more with all of you.

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