To say that Academic Year 2015-16 has started with a bang would be a gross understatement. We began with a 79% increase in the size of our entering class – from 52 students in fall 2014 to 93 students in fall 2015 – and no diminution in the credentials of the class. These new students have added to the energy, vibrancy and atmosphere of La Verne Law in ways that have affected everyone in our building. Anyone who visits the College of Law can see and feel this renewal and augmented commitment to the vision, mission and values of La Verne Law.
Shortly after the school year began, we held our 4th Art Gallery Opening & Artist Reception. The theme of this show is A Continuum of Impact. It features the work of six diverse artists and will be open until December 11. It is great to have art showing in the halls of the College of Law, providing us with daily reminders that the world is not just doctrine, values and skills. The works displayed in our gallery present diverse and challenging perceptions of the world in general, and bring life to many of the topics discussed in our classes.
Additionally, the year began with the recognition of Associate Dean Randy Rubin as the University Professor of the Year. Dean Rubin has been at La Verne Law since 1990 and has taught virtually every student since 1993. He has served as Associate Dean, Interim Dean and Acting Dean during his 26-year tenure at the College of Law. He will be feted on Friday, October 9 at the University’s Annual Alumni Homecoming Dinner.
Adding to the high level of engagement stimulated by all the previously mentioned occurrences, we recently completed a visit by an ABA Site Team. This site visit is part of our application for full ABA approval. In a word, the visit was spectacular. We successfully showcased the curricular and fiscal-tuition reform, and faculty-student engagement that are the hallmark of the University of La Verne College of Law. In many respects, La Verne Law is ahead of the curve in terms of the direction of legal education. We have successfully incorporated doctrine and skills throughout our curriculum. For example, our curriculum requires students to have seven credits of experiential learning to graduate. They receive two credits in the Litigation Track and two credits in the Transactional Track. They also must take three credits of experiential learning through a clinic, externship or practicum course in their second, third or fourth year. The new ABA standards require all students to have a minimum of six credits of experiential learning.
When the College of Law adopted the True Tuition Model that has no discount scholarships, we committed to granting funded scholarships to students in their second, third and fourth year. This fall we awarded 39 students funded scholarships totaling more than $100,000. These students represent more than 20% of our total student population, as full-time and part-time members of our student body. The scholarships are for academic achievement, leadership and commitment to the vision and mission of the College of Law.
All in all, there are positive vibes and hopeful promises in the air. I invite you to visit the University of La Verne College of Law in person and on our website at http://law.laverne.edu/. I believe that you will be pleased with what you find when you learn more about La Verne Law.