Monday, August 9, 2021
Welcome to the members of the Pepperdine Caruso Law School Class of 2024 who begin their legal education today in a week-long introduction to law school and professional formation, as well as the over 400 students pursuing joint, LL.M., and masters degrees and certificates, including our LL.M. and certificate programs in Entertainment, Media, and Sports and our online masters in Legal Studies and Dispute Resolution and our online LL.M. in Dispute Resolution.
Our incoming J.D. class is the first to enter our re-named Rick J. Caruso School of Law. We are thrilled that, after being physically separated for 886 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are gathered together today in person. A much higher than expected yield rate produced a class of over 200 1Ls (much larger than our 180 enrollment target), with the highest median LSAT scores (164) and undergraduate GPAs (3.80) in our history, as well as more students of color and first-generation students for the fourth year in a row.
This is my fifth year as Dean, and I am thrilled that you have decided to join our very special law school community. You will learn and study on our spectacularly beautiful campus in Malibu with easy access to Los Angeles, one of the world's most vibrant cities for young professionals. Beginning today you will experience the faculty and staff's faith-fueled commitment to you and to your success that manifests itself in various ways, large and small, in daily life at Pepperdine Caruso Law. My fervent wish is that you will love your time here as I have since joining the faculty in 2013, and that you will leave here with a deep sense of your professional and personal calling in law and in life.
This is an especially exciting time at Pepperdine Caruso Law. In March, we rose to #46 in the U.S. News law school rankings, for the second year in a row the highest ranking in our school's history. We are well positioned with the resources provided by our $50 million naming gift to continue our ascent.