Entering class at UT Law the largest in more than five years

The University of Tennessee College of Law welcomed its largest class of first-year students in more than five years to orientation activities this month.

The class of 124 students includes 66 males and 58 females, Director of Admissions Sarah Busse said. Diversity enrollment also remains high with 22 percent of students identifying themselves as belonging to minority populations.

“This year we traveled to more than 50 law school fairs and schools to meet with and attract the best applicants to the College of Law,” Busse said. “The class is diverse, not only by socio-economic and racial standards, but also in life and work experiences.”

Dean Melanie Wilson said she’s encouraged by the impressive entering class.

“This is another indication of how the College of Law at the University of Tennessee continues to improve,” Wilson said. “This growth has been directly influenced by the excellent work of our faculty and staff, and the strong support of our accomplished UT Law alumni.”

As the college continues to attract talented and diverse students, it is excelling in other areas as well. Employment rates for 2017 law graduates reached 94 percent overall. Ten months after graduation, 91 percent of that class was employed in full-time jobs for which a J.D. is required or an advantage. That success is far above the national average of 75 percent, according to information released in April by the American Bar Association.

While the number of admitted students has risen, their level of performance – compared to other classes – has also increased. The median undergraduate GPA for this year’s class is 3.64 while the median LSAT score is 158.

The applicant pool also grew over previous years – and is up 65% over the number of applications received in 2014.

Many of the students of the class of 2021 are also dedicated to giving back to their community. More than 40 of them kicked off their semester taking part in a College of Law service project, offering their time to assist Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries.

“We look forward to great things from the class of 2021,” Wilson said. “Students face significant challenges when trying to select a school that offers the best value, the best education, and the best post-graduate opportunity.”

“At UT Law, we are proud to offer our students a high quality education that prepares them well for the practice of law without burdening them with a heavy financial debt,” she said. “It’s this combination of quality and value that distinguishes our program.”