Law school deans excited about Class of 2018

August 21, 2015

At the University of Notre Dame Law School, Dean Nell Jessup Newton bet on the “summer melt” but ended up losing to Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Affairs Kevin O’Rear.

O’Rear told the law school faculty at the end of the last semester that the class coming in this fall would be big. Newton was not convinced, reminding O’Rear that applicants always drop out of the admission process in the months immediately before classes start (causing the “summer melt”). This year, she said, would be no different.

However, the melt didn’t happen and Notre Dame is welcoming a first-year class of 200 students. The law school normally holds the incoming class to 180, but this year’s class size mirrors last year’s.

Notre Dame’s Class of 2018 has a median LSAT of 164 and a median GPA of 3.66.  

Although she is “demolished” by losing the bet, Newton is not complaining. She said admitting a bigger class is wonderful.

Law schools in Indiana are conducting orientations and starting classes for the 2015-2016 academic year. The class sizes are approximate and deans anticipate the numbers will change slightly but, overall, they are excited about the new crop of students.

“I love the start of school,” said Andrew Klein, dean of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. “It’s one of the fun things about being an academician.”

The Indianapolis law school saw a 7 percent increase in applications and is anticipating a 1L class of 250 full-time and part-time students. This is 30 fewer than the starting class in 2014 but 25 more than 2013.

Median LSAT for the Class of 2018 is 152 and median GPA is between 3.3 and 3.4, little difference from the Class of 2017.

Indiana University Maurer School of Law has a smaller incoming class at 156 students. Dean Austen Parrish said the school decided to reduce the number of 1Ls in order to maintain high LSAT scores.

Maurer’s incoming class has a median LSAT and GPA of 161 and 3.77, respectively.

Valparaiso University Law School changed its admissions process slightly in order to take a closer look at the candidates who were on the bubble. Dean Andrea Lyon explained faculty members conducted Skype interviews with these applicants to assess how motivated they are.

Personal drive and wanting to do well plays a major part in a law student’s success, Lyon said. She pointed to a member of the Class of 2014 who was a single parent and scored 141 on the LSAT. That student worked hard and graduated third in the class.

This year, Valparaiso has an incoming class of 133 with a median LSAT of 145 and a median GPA of 2.93. The new students are coming from 30 different states with the majority coming from Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.

Describing Valparaiso’s 1Ls as a diverse and interesting group, Lyon said she can’t wait for school to start.  

Indiana Tech Law School Dean Charles Cercone did not respond before IL deadline.   


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