They traveled many different paths to St. John’s Law. But when they walked into the Law School on Wednesday, August 17, 2022 and took their seats for 1L Convocation, 240 incoming students from across the country and around the world came together as the J.D. Class of 2025.
Welcoming them to campus, Dean Michael A. Simons noted that the 1L classmates include an art appraiser, officer with the U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command, ACLU volunteer, and accomplished Irish dancer as well as a motorcycle mechanic, spray paint artist, registered patent agent, and police sergeant. They’re equipped with degrees from 125 colleges and over a dozen graduate schools and speak 30 different languages. Out of the group, 99 students are bilingual, 86 identify as students of color, and 21 students identify as LGBTQ, with many more identifying as allies. Its newest class also reflects the Law School’s proud tradition of opening doors to opportunity. There are 25 first-generation Americans in the class, and 52 of the students were the first in their family to go to college.
As they bring a wide range of lived experience to their legal studies, the 1Ls draw on outstanding credentials that include a median LSAT of 162 and an all-time high median GPA of 3.66. It’s a solid foundation of excellence to build on over the next three years, while they become lawyers who advocate for others and serve the greater good. “Law is power, and lawyers have the authority to invoke that power” to address society’s pressing issues, Dean Simons noted at Convocation. “Think about what you care about,” he added. “Well, guess what? You can do something about it.”
Whatever issues they care most about, the Class of 2025 can explore and address them in class, through the Law School’s in-house and partner clinics, on journals and competition teams, and as members of affinity and other student groups. With guidance from the Public Interest Center, the students will also have opportunities to animate St. John’s Vincentian mission of uplifting historically marginalized individuals and communities. And with the support of dedicated career counselors from day one, they will forge solid professional credentials and connections in the field.
Before they stood to take the professionalism oath that has become a Convocation rite of passage—along with a group selfie—Dean Simons reminded the incoming students that they are now part of a community that includes 17,000 alumni worldwide and dedicated faculty, administrators, and staff at the Law School. “We’re here for you,” he said, “just as you will be here for each other. That’s how the St. John’s Law family works.”