The largest incoming class in the history of Elon University’s law school in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina, has pushed total enrollment to record levels with new students representing 22 states and 84 undergraduate alma maters.
Their accomplishments are as distinctive as they are impressive.
They were active in student governments and honor councils, fraternities and sororities, mock trial and moot court teams, and other leadership positions around their campuses. At the same time, many made president’s lists and dean’s lists, often graduating with academic honors.
They have studied abroad in nations that include Costa Rica, the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany and Italy. Several speak more than one language, including German, Hindi and Spanish.
And as members of Elon University School of Law’s Class of 2023 learned Thursday, gathered together in a downtown Greensboro hotel ballroom for an official welcome from law school administrators, many already have worked or interned in legal or law-related positions for law firms, district attorney’s offices, public defender’s offices, law enforcement agencies, and even as deputy clerks for Superior Courts.
At 171 students, the Class of 2023 represents the largest class to enroll in the history of Elon Law, surpassing the mark set last year by the 164 students who arrived in the Class of 2022. News was shared when incoming students convened for the first time under one roof in the ballroom of the Greensboro Marriott Downtown.
The 16th entering class of Elon University School of Law was drawn from a pool of 920 applicants. Elon Law’s three combined classes now push its current total enrollment to a record 429 students.
The Thursday morning welcome served as part of Orientation week, which included brief presentations a day earlier on university policies, school technology, legal research, and student support services, plus an opportunity for each student to receive a professional portrait.
“After a careful review of your application and an admissions interview, you were selected based on your many prior achievements, your demonstrated passion for studying law, and your immense potential for success in law school and in serving others through the legal profession,” said Alan Woodlief, senior associate dean for admissions. “We are excited to have you here and we look forward to assisting you in fulfilling your professional ambitions over the next two-and-a-half years as students and beyond as alumni.”
Other notable traits shared by Woodlief? Several are entrepreneurs who launched online sale companies, web design campaigns, a block chain supply company and more. Several are Eagle Scouts, at least two served in AmeriCorps, and six are veterans of the United States military.
They are a diverse group:
- 23: Median Age
- 58% Female / 42% Male
- 26%: Students of Color
- 50%: From North Carolina
Their academic interests are varied. The 10 most common undergraduate majors:
- Political Science (38)
- English (14)
- History and Psychology (10 each)
- Philosophy (7)
- Communications and Business Administration (6 each)
- Finance, Legal Studies, and Sociology (4 each)
They represent dozens of undergraduate alma maters:
- UNC Greensboro (19)
- East Carolina University (8)
- UNC Chapel Hill (7)
- Virginia Tech, UNC Charlotte, North Carolina A&T, University of South Carolina (6 each)
- Clemson University and the College of Charleston (5)
- Elon University, UNC Wilmington, Presbyterian College (4 each)
Other schools represented in the class include the University of Virginia, the College of William & Mary, Wake Forest University, Spelman College, American University, Howard University, Auburn University, the University of Alabama, Oregon State University, Texas A&M University, Tulane, and The Citadel.
And the Class of 2023 boasts another distinction: 18 members have already earned master’s degrees, the largest number ever represented in an incoming class. One holds a doctor of philosophy, with another working toward the same degree.
“To be sure, this is just a partial list of all your accomplishments and prior service, and we look forward to learning more about your backgrounds,” Woodlief said. “We also look forward to witnessing firsthand your accomplishments to come – over the next two-and-a-half years and throughout your careers as Elon lawyers – as you channel this energy, focus, and commitment to excellence and service in your new chosen profession as pioneering lawyer leaders.”
The welcome program on the morning of August 5, 2021, included remarks from Dean Luke Bierman, Associate Dean Sue Liemer, and Associate Dean Wendy Scott. It preceded a day of community development, wellness presentations, and remarks on personal and professional responsibility.
“You are, as of today, entering a profession, and the profession that you’re entering is unique to the American experience,” Bierman said. “It’s unique because we as lawyers are involved as officers of the court. We have a public responsibility. You will swear an oath that will require you to act certain ways, and that begins today. … You are preparing for that experience and those responsibilities and those obligations and the privilege that comes with being a lawyer and practicing law.”
Convocation for the Class of 2023 takes place Friday, August 6, at 1:30 p.m. in Alumni Gym on Elon University’s main campus.