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Dave Moran in Michigan Radio interview on Innocence Clinic

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The Wall Street Journal reports incoming Michigan Law student Sada Jacobson's Olympic silver, part of American fencing sweep. More

Prima Facie

Senior Judge James L. Ryan of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals leads first-year Michigan Law students in their Pledge of Integrity August 29th.

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Have a story of interest to fellow alumni? Contact e-news editor John Masson, Media Relations Officer for Michigan Law, law-enews@umich.edu Office: 734.647.7352

One in a billion -- the truth about Michigan Law 1Ls

The amazing backgrounds of incoming students

They build sailboats, they win Olympic medals, and they can keep up on the violin with Itzhak Perlman. They hold patents, drive Zambonis, and one of them came out No. 1 on an exam in a pool a mere 1.3 billion people deep.

The 361 new first-year law students who arrived this month at Michigan Law come with the usual wide variety of backgrounds. Some information about the 95 summer starters and 266 fall starters who make up the class:

• The median LSAT is 169 (97+%), tied with last year's LSAT for the highest ever. The median GPA is 3.7, also the highest ever.

• About one in five applicants gained admission.

• Between 20 and 23 percent are Michigan residents (that is, 23 percent say they are; 20 percent have had the Residency Office agree with them).

• 22 percent are racial or ethnic minorities, including 4 percent African Americans; 4 percent Latinos; 13 percent Asian Americans; and 1 percent Native Americans.

• The gender breakdown: 57 percent male, 43 percent female.

• About a third come from families where at least one parent never got a college degree – including 13 percent where both parents did not.

• They come from 43 states and the District of Columbia (we’re missing Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wyoming).

• They represent 12 countries – Canada, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Pakistan, South Africa, and South Korea.

• Age range is 21 to 43, with a median of 24 and a mean of 24.5 Nearly three-quarters have taken a year or more off after completing undergraduate degrees to do something else before entering law school.

• Fifteen percent already have advanced degrees.

But those are simple numbers. On the more human side, the class also includes five Fulbright scholars, seven Peace Corps veterans, six members of Teach for America, six members of Americorps, 10 veterans of the military, one Truman Scholar; the Internet consultant to Jerry Springer; an Olympic silver medalist (fencing); a violinist who played with Itzhak Perlman and Isaac Stern; someone who built his own 20-ton schooner after working for the United Nations; someone with eight patents; a Zamboni operator; the manager of China Policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; a member of the Guatemalan national rugby team; someone who was named to the “Top 5 under 25” music executives by People magazine, and, finally, someone who scored No. 1 on China’s National College Entrance Exam.

We wish them all luck. But we suspect they won’t need any.

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