By Chris Saunders
If you could describe TJSL’s new Spring 2013 entering class in one word it would be “diverse.” In fact, the students are diverse in every sense of the word: Ethnicity, nationality, languages spoken, gender, sexual-orientation, background, life- experience, and any other way you can think of - including quite a few who have professional experience after graduating from college as well as military active-duty and veterans.
“Most of all, it’s what you bring to the table,” said Associate Dean for Student Affairs Beth Kransberger while welcoming more than 65 new students at orientation on Monday, January 7.
Indeed, the backgrounds of the students are incredibly varied, from a Russian former touring gymnast, to a private investigator, to professional engineers, and musicians.
“We are thrilled to have you here,” said Dean Kransberger to the new students. “ We are excited to have you join the family.”
The students we spoke with were also thrilled to be starting their legal careers!
“I’m excited to get started,” said Jacquelline McNally, a University of Nebraska graduate who has worked as a paralegal.
“This is exciting,” said Julie Hunt, a UC Irvine graduate. “I’ve always loved the law.”
“I’ve got a few opening day jitters,” said Adel Wahab, a Cal State San Marcos graduate who decided on law school “to put myself in a better situation.”
“I have a good feeling about this place,” said Timothy Bradford, who graduated with an English degree from The University of San Francisco.
“I am anxious to start,” Bradford added, noting that he wants a career as a criminal prosecutor.
“It’s so great to meet everyone,” said Kath Rogers, a UC San Diego graduate who wants to practice public interest law. “It’s clear what a community TJSL is. I’m excited to be part of it.”
To get a better idea of the diversity of this incoming class, here are some of the demographics Dean Kransberger shared with the new students:
“Fifteen of you have a served our country through military service - we have current and former members of the Marines, Army, Air Force, Army National Guard and the Navy. You join several upperclassmen here at TJSL with such service.
24% of you are first generation college students, as is true for a number of us here at the law school on the staff and faculty.
53% of you are the first in your families to attend graduate school.
50% of you are over the age of 27. You range in age from 22 to 61. One-third of you are age 30 or older.
You are 50% students of color.
5% of you have self-identified as GLBT.
33% of you are coming from outside the state of California. You come from Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and California.
59% of you are women.
11% of you grew up in rurally isolated areas.
23% of you were born outside the US, nd altogether you represent 12 countries including: Canada, Iran, the Philippines, India, Mexico, Armenia, China, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Syria, Trinidad and the US.
11% of you speak at least one other language including: Arabic, Chinese, Igbo, Russian, Farsi and Spanish.
You come from 51 different undergraduate institutions.
40% of you come from our vaunted University of California or CSU System schools and we welcome the Banana Slugs, the Tritons, the Gauchos, the Bruins, the Aztecs and all the rest.
Collectively, you hold 27 different majors from music to civil engineering- a fact which is always true for us. We have many musicians and artists in the building.”
And to that we add - each and every one of you now have one thing in common – you are now part of the TJSL family – Welcome!