Moritz Class of 2013: Most Applicants in College’s History
The work of a law school admissions officer or admissions committee member is part art, part science. There is art to selecting a group of students that you hope will bring intellectual curiosity, academic potential, diverse experiences, high aspirations, common sense, and uncommon enthusiasm to create a community of scholars dedicated to excellence. The art involves deciphering a student’s transcript, the course name/ number, assigned grade and, hopefully, a letter of reference from a professor whose knowledge of the student extends beyond the fact that the student received an “A” in their class, in order to evaluate the depth of their individual curriculum, the strength of their preparation, and their potential to succeed in the analytically rigorous world of a law school classroom. The science relies upon numbers and statistics and it is these “objective” snippets of information that are most often used to paint the picture of an incoming class or to provide a snapshot of the pool of prospective or admitted students. While I cannot share the individual stories which would paint the complete picture, I can provide a brief sketch of who they are.
As of March 29, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law has received more than 2,700 applications for the class entering in fall 2010. This is the largest number of applicants in the history of the College. Applicants range in age from 19 to 59; median age is 23. Applicants come from 49 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, as well as China, Korea, India, Canada, Russia, Israel, and other foreign lands. While almost 50 percent of the applicants are from the states of Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin; almost 20 percent are from California, New York, Pennsylvania, or Texas. Approximately 26 percent of the applicants are persons of color and 4 percent are international. The median LSAT for the applicant pool is a 158 (75th percentile); the median GPA is a 3.5. Approximately 40 percent of our applicants are women. Many have served in the military, in Americorps, in the Peace Corps or in Teach for America. Roughly 20 percent will be the first in their family to complete college. Most come with work experience, some with many years. The College’s applicants are involved politically, socially, and in service to their communities. There are many, many more qualified applicants than it is possible to accept; and many whom we do accept will choose to attend another institution.
The economic crisis of the past two years has not given rise to the floor of new applicants some people anticipated. As of March 19, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) reported that the number of law school applicants nationally is up 2.9 percent. The applicants are, however, applying to a greater number of law schools. The volume of law school applications nationally is currently up 6.8 percent. Thus far, Moritz has seen an application volume increase of 7.2 percent compared to the same time last year.
LSAC breaks down applicant volume by region of the country. Ohio is in the Great Lakes region along with Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. LSAC reports that the number of people applying to law school from the Great Lakes region has declined 3.2 percent as compared to the same time last year. However, students again are applying to more schools. Application volume for the Great Lakes region is up 7.8 percent. The number of applications to Moritz from the Great Lakes region is up 11.5 percent from this time last year.
While we will not know the profile for the Class of 2013 for several months, I anticipate another excellent group of students will be joining the College in the fall. At that time, we can paint a more detailed picture. I hope you’ll be as equally proud as I am.
Kathy Seward Northern
Associate Dean for Admissions