One hundred and sixty eight students - more than half of whom moved to North Carolina for their legal education - comprise one of the largest and most diverse incoming classes ever for Elon University School of Law.
They are former paralegals and police officers, members of the armed forces and community volunteers. They served in student government or student organization leadership roles as undergraduates, and several competed in debate, mock trial, and moot court competitions.
Many have studied abroad in more than a dozen countries around the globe. A few are fluent in more than one language, including Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese.
And their academic achievement has set a new mark for an incoming class at Elon University School of Law: The Class of 2024, which gathered together under one roof for the first time on Thursday morning, boasts the highest median undergraduate GPA of any entering class since the school first opened in 2006.
For Interim Dean Alan Woodlief, past achievements for Elon Law’s newest students signify a bright future for the group over the next two-and-a-half years.
“You’ve had great accomplishments in the past, which predict great accomplishments in the future, here in law school and beyond,” Woodlief told the 168 students who convened Thursday morning in the ballroom of the Marriott Greensboro Downtown for a formal class introduction. “Your professors and staff are here to give you opportunities … we’re very excited to help you reach that ultimate potential.”
Among the characteristics of the Class of 2024:
- The class is 66% female and 34% percent male
- 25% of the class identifies as students of color
- 54% moved to North Carolina for law school from out of state, the largest representation from out of state to date and evidence of Elon Law’s expanding geographic footprint due to its 2.5-year program
- 40 majors are represented, with the most common being political science, criminal justice, English, psychology, and communications
- Six members reported serving in the armed forces
- 10 members of the class hold advanced degrees, including one student with a Ph.D in educational leadership and policy studies
- 92 colleges and universities are represented among the undergraduate alma maters of the entering class, with the largest contingents from UNC Chapel Hill (15), N.C. State University (12), and the University of South Carolina (10)
- The class includes an equestrian and a triathlete, a certified diver, certified personal and CrossFit trainers, and a former member of the U.S. Junior Olympic Skeet Team
- Several are Eagle Scouts and at least one is a Girl Scout Silver Award recipient
- One served in Teach for America with others giving their time as camp counselors and volunteers for numerous organizations, including Habitat for Humanity
The Class of 2024 was selected from among 925 applicants. The second-largest class in Elon Law history was three students shy of the 171 students who enrolled last year as part of the Class of 2023, and slightly larger than the 164 students who enrolled in 2020.
Thursday’s welcome program took place on the second official day of Orientation. Students arrived at Elon Law on August 3, 2022, for administrative tasks but were divided into three cohorts. It wasn’t until August 4 that the full class convened in the Marriott ballroom.
Orientation concludes August 5 with a Convocation on Elon University’s main campus and subsequent professional development activities intended to help further refine professional etiquette in business and networking environments.
Students also will take part in regional service projects throughout August as part of Elon Law Reaches Out.
“I look forward to getting to know you more over the next several days, weeks, months and years,” Woodlief said. “I cannot wait to see you channel your talent, energy, and commitment to succeeding in law school and in your legal careers.”
About Elon Law
Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina, is the preeminent school for engaged and experiential learning in law. With a focus on learning by doing and among the top quartile of American law schools for low levels of student loan debt at graduation, it integrates traditional classroom instruction with course-connected, full-time residencies-in-practice in a logically sequenced program of transformational professional preparation. Elon Law’s groundbreaking approach is accomplished in 2.5 years, which provides distinctive value by lowering tuition and permitting graduates early entry into their legal careers.