Santa Clara University

SCU Today

University Press Releases

Back to Blog

Santa Clara University School of Law Welcomes a Diverse, Academically Strong New Class

Monday, Aug. 17, 2009

SANTA CLARA, CA - August 17, 2009  -- The largest pool of applicants since 2004 has yielded an academically strong and ethnically diverse class of first-year law students at Santa Clara University School of Law.

This year’s 247 full-time and 80 part-time students who begin classes today come from 31 states and 9 foreign countries including China, India, and South Korea. They attended 139 different undergraduate schools, and 39 of them already have advanced degrees -- including 13 Ph.D.s.

The incoming class is a bit younger than in prior years: The full-time students have a median age of 24, down from 25 two years ago, while part-timers - who tend to be working professionals - have a median age of 27, down from 29 three years ago.

Nearly 4,600 people applied for a spot in the class, the strongest showing since 2004.  As in years past, a high proportion (41 percent) of the students expressed interest in Santa Claras strong computer/high-tech law program; 33 percent indicated an interest in public interest and social justice law, and 30 percent in international law.

“Santa Clara Law students know they will get an excellent legal education, a broad exposure to the legal issues that matter in Silicon Valley and an opportunity to develop fully as lawyers influenced by Jesuit values of public service and social justice,” said SCU Law Dean Donald Polden.  In addition, he said, “the advice and assistance of the law school's  advisory board of working professionals gives our students an edge in knowing what law firms want from today's law students and graduates.”

Other facts about SCU School of Laws incoming first-year students:  


Women 46%; Men 54%

Top Ethnicities

White: 44%; Asian/Pacific Islander: 34%; Hispanic: 8%; African-American: 2%; Middle Eastern: 2%

Top five home states

California, Texas, Washington, Arizona, and Oregon

Top five undergraduate schools

Santa Clara University; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, San Diego; University of California, Santa Cruz, and University of California, Davis

About Santa Clara University School of Law

Santa Clara Law, founded in 1911 on the site of California’s oldest operating higher-education institution, is dedicated to educating lawyers who lead with a commitment to excellence, ethics, and social justice. One of the nations most diverse law schools, Santa Clara Law offers its 925 students an academically rigorous program, including graduate degrees in international law and intellectual property law;  combined J.D./MBA and J.D./MSIS degrees; and certificates in intellectual property law, international law, and public interest and social justice law. Santa Clara Law is located in the world-class business center of Silicon Valley and is distinguished nationally for its highly ranked program in intellectual property. For more information, see

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,758 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus masters and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. masters universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media Contact:

Deborah Lohse

SCU Media Relations




Tags: law

Printer-friendly format