The Class of 2012 has arrived at RWU Law, and it is the largest, and has the best credentials, in our history. This is not surprising because we were swamped with applications (up 21% over last year). I want to share with you some information about this talented group of future attorneys as described by our terrific Assistant Dean for Admissions, Michael Boylen, in his welcome address.
I would like to welcome you to Roger Williams University School of Law. We, in the Admissions Office, have had the distinct privilege of getting to know you over the last year. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. The Class of 2012 is dynamic and talented and I am here today to tell you all a little bit about the folks you will be calling your classmates.
You represent more than a 100 undergraduate institutions including Georgetown, Harvard, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Wellesley, Brown, Villanova, Vassar, Tufts, NYU, UC-Santa Cruz, GW, Haverford, Grinnell, Colby, William & Mary, Clemson, Boston College, Georgia, Kansas, Auburn, UNLV, Tulane, Wesleyan, Iowa, and Chicago.
Some of you have earned your bachelor’s degree internationally, at such places as the University of Dublin, the University of New Delhi, McGill (Canada), and St. Andrews (Scotland).
The top five feeder schools for your class are Boston University, UMASS-Amherst, and Roger Williams--all tied for fourth. Providence College is third, Rhode Island College second, and our largest feeder school is University of Rhode Island.
In your class you will find a realtor, the assistant manager of the Goat Island marina, a pharmacist, a TV reporter from LA, a US embassy staffer in Burkina Faso, a Del’s Lemonade Truck Driver, a nurse, an opera singer, a social worker, a staffer for U.S. Senator Jack Reed, the vice president of a bank, the Captain of the Fire Island Water Taxi, a Mary Kay beauty consultant, an investigator at the RI Commission against Discrimination, a farmer, a standup comic, a professor of Constitutional History and LGBT studies, a campus anti-war organizer, the sales manager for an international sea food company, a sous chef, a deckhand on a schooner, a staffer with the Kucinich campaign, the director of a community alcohol abuse program, a professional glassblower, and even Dom Deluise’s personal assistant.
Members of your class have led the charge against legalized prostitution here in Rhode Island, canvassed for Greenpeace, helped mobilize Latino voters, and demonstrated for gay rights. One has worked at Mother Theresa’s orphanage, and others assisted the blind in India and worked with disadvantaged kids in Cape Town, South Africa. Someone in your class has fought in Iraq. Many of you have helped rebuild New Orleans after Katrina, and two of you actually survived the hurricane.
You have been involved in many co-curricular activities during college. A number of you have worked with Habitat for Humanity. We have the co-president of a multicultural dorm, a singer in a glee club, and a jazz musician. Many of you played sports – with an unusual number of rugby players. There is a president of the College Republicans and a president of the College Democrats. Someone spent last fall working for John McCain while someone else was with the Barack Obama campaign.
Three quarters of your class comes from somewhere other than Rhode Island: 34% from the other New England States, 22% from Northeastern states outside of New England, 8% from the South, 5% from the West, and 6% from the Central US.
Nine % of your class comes from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in the legal profession.
The average age of the class is 25, with 7% over the age of 30. A number of you are married and some have children.
And, yes, this is the strongest class in Roger Williams University School of Law history.
It is now time for you to meet this very interesting class of 2012. We invite you to join your classmates, Chief Justice Suttell, and other distinguished guests, for a reception in the atrium.
And, on behalf of all of us at RWU Law, welcome to law school.