UC Hastings Law has been alive with activity over the past few weeks after some 18 months of remote teaching and learning. The once-quiet halls of the college’s new Cotchett Law Center are now bustling, as students shuffle between classes and gather for group work (masked, of course); its influential centers embark on new casework, research, and scholarship; and the school serves as a critical convener, bringing influential legal scholars together for conversations on racial and reproductive justice. Among those who are infusing energy into the school’s reopening are exceptionally diverse and accomplished cohorts of newly admitted JD, LLM, MSL, and CSL students.
While the national law school applicant pool increased by 12.5% this year, UC Hastings saw a staggering 33% rise in applications. It had both its lowest acceptance rate and its highest yield on admissions offers in over a decade. The median GPA of the incoming J.D. class is 3.52 and the LSAT median is 160, both increases from last year.
The college continues to cultivate and celebrate diversity on campus. Students of color constitute 50% of the incoming JD class and 17% identify as first-generation college students. UC Hastings welcomes four new California Scholars, graduates of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with California roots. Sixty-five new students are in the college’s storied Legal Education Opportunity Program, which makes an outstanding legal education accessible to people who have overcome significant educational, economic, social, or physical adversity. In this cohort, 57% of students identify as female and several identify as non-binary.
UC Hastings’ 398 incoming JD students hail from 20 states and the District of Columbia. They represent 60 different majors from 134 different undergraduate institutions. Our 1L class includes 10 veterans of the United States Armed Forces, a photojournalist raised in Italy, a college water polo player-turned-coach, and a molecular biologist. The most represented areas of interest are Public Interest Law, Criminal Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Corporate Law.
UC Hastings LLM students — foreign lawyers pursuing master’s degrees in U.S. Legal Studies — come from 15 countries. We are proud to welcome to the LLM Class of 2022 a Fulbright Scholar and students from our global partner institutions of the University of Bergen, Freie University, Luiss Guido Carli University, Pantheon-Assas University Paris II, the University of Regensburg, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Joining the student body are also four incoming foreign exchange students from our partner institutions of Bucerius Law School, the University of Copenhagen, and Leiden University. Our international students’ interests are as varied as our curriculum, with students interested in legal areas ranging from Science, Technology, and IP Law; to International Human Rights Law; to International Business and Trade Law.
The MSL and CSL students — master’s and certificate students who seek a deeper understanding of the law to complement their own professional practice — work in a variety of fields, including construction, technology, government, education, and human resources. The most represented specialization areas of focus among our MSL students this year are Social Justice Law, Government Law, and Compliance. Our new MSL and CSL students join a cohort of remarkable continuing part-time MSL students.
“This is an extraordinary group by any measure,” says Senior Assistant Dean of Enrollment Management June Sakamoto. “We are delighted to welcome these talented students to the UC Hastings community.”