|The Class of 2015
In what proved to be one of the most challenging admission cycles that we can remember, Pepperdine Law once again enrolled one of its most competitive classes in the history of the law school. Applications were down nationally by approximately 13 percent, and many law schools experienced significant enrollment decreases. Pepperdine’s incoming class was 6 percent larger than it was last year, and we maintained our record high median GPA of 3.63 and had a median LSAT of 162 (85th percentile). This impressive entering class is a testament to the strength of our law school and community.
A few highlights:
- 107 different undergraduate schools are represented. The top feeder schools for the class of 2015 are UCLA, Pepperdine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, and USC. Boston College, Gonzaga, and Indiana-Bloomington are the top out-of-state feeder schools.
- 46% of the students are women.
- 25% of the students identify as African American, Asian American, Latino or Native American.
- 37% of the students are from outside California coming from 26 states and 2 foreign countries.
- 4 of the students have served our country in the military.
The class of 2015 has a wide-variety of backgrounds, talents, and past-careers. The class includes a player from the women’s national soccer team, an officer in the Navy and Navy football player, a mother of three kids in college, an ordained rabbi, a professional poker player, a baseball player from Dartmouth, and a former president of a corporation. Many of our students are committed to service. One recently returned from Uganda, where he worked for an NGO for the past five years.
Alumni Service on the State and Federal Levels
Pepperdine University School of Law has a tradition of public service, which includes a great many judges, and state and local officials. Todd Platts has been a member of the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania for some years, but is not running again this year. There are a number of alums holding state and local positions in government.
James Hahn is the only person to hold the positions of Los Angeles City Controller, City Attorney, and Mayor. Pierre Prosper served as Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues. Greg Totten is District attorney for Ventura County. Rick Caruso has served as president of the L.A. Police Commission, was the youngest person to ever serve on the L.A. Water and Power Commission (at age 25), and is a member of the L.A. Coliseum Commission.
In September, Pepperdine Law welcomed back U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. (JD ’91), who shared his journey in becoming a United States Attorney for the Central District of California. Alan Jackson (JD ’94) is a candidate for the Los Angeles County District Attorney in the upcoming November election. If elected, Pepperdine alumni will serve as the principal prosecutors at the county and federal level in Los Angeles and Ventura County, where Pepperdine Law Board of Visitors member Greg Totten (JD ’82) currently serves as the District Attorney. What a record of public service for three Pepperdine graduates of whom we are so proud!
Pepperdine Law in Action
The School of Law has been honored to have the opportunity to host a variety of events and guests over the years. Most recently, Pepperdine Law hosted the sixth annual William French Smith Lecture Series. The Oct. 19 event welcomed a host of presenters, including John C. Nagle, John N. Matthews Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame Law School, and Lisa E. Heinzerling, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center. An introduction and remarks were made by Pepperdine School of Law Dean Deanell Reece Tacha, Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean and Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit (ret.).
A mock oral argument on Native Vill. of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp., 663 F. Supp. 2d 863 (N.D. Cal. 2009), aff’d __ F.3d ___, 2012 WL 4215921 (9th Cir. Sept. 21, 2012) included advocates David M. Axelrad (Appellant), Partner, Horvitz & Levy LLP – Los Angeles, California, and Richard O. Faulk (Respondent), Partner, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP – Houston, Texas. Judges for the mock trial included The Honorable David B. Sentelle, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; The Honorable Timothy M. Tymkovich, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit; and Kenneth W. Starr, President, Baylor University.
Additionally, the Global Justice Speaker Series at the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute for Law, Religion, and Ethics hosted the launch of USAID’s Counter Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) Campus Challenge. Response from the Pepperdine community was phenomenal. To read more, visit the Pepperdine Law School website.
Dean Tacha Receives the A. Sherman Christensen Award
The Honorable Deanell Reece Tacha was selected to receive the prestigious 2012 American Inns of Court’s A. Sherman Christensen Award. The award was presented by Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham at the American Inns of Court’s annual Celebration of Excellence, held at the Supreme Court of the United States on October 20.
Given in the name of the founder of the first American Inn of Court, this award is bestowed upon a member of an American Inn of Court who, at the local, state, or national level, has provided distinguished, exceptional, and significant leadership to the American Inns of Court. The recipient exemplifies the qualities of leadership and commitment displayed by Judge A. Sherman Christensen.
Tacha Tour 2.0
Dean Deanell Reece Tacha continues her efforts to upgrade the connection between Pepperdine Law and its alumni serving at various capacities throughout the country. Her most recent tour stop brought her to Ventura on Oct. 16th. Her next stop will be on Nov. 1 in San Diego. For a full list of Tacha Tour 2.0 stops, please visit the Tacha Tour website.