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McGeorge School of Law welcomes a new class of students

Students wearing backpacks cross the street during a fall day.

The University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law welcomed its 100th class of JD students to campus this month as well as a new class of graduate, online, and international program students.

The Class of 2024 applied to law school during a year of rapid change and uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide protests against systemic racism. The JD Admissions Team at McGeorge worked creatively and consciously to seat this year's class.

Incoming students bring a range of experiences and talents to their legal studies. The class includes former collegiate athletes, an FBI investigator, a brewery owner, and several students who have served in the military.

JD students

This year’s JD orientation events consisted of programming related to the first year of law school, cultural proficiency, stress relief, implicit bias, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Students met members of the administration, faculty, and staff as well as law school peers and student organization representatives. Learn more about McGeorge’s 100th JD class here.

For the second straight year, this year’s class of 171 JD students is comprised of a majority of female students. More than a third of the class are the first in their families to attend law school, and nearly half identify as non-white. The class brings a diversity of educational backgrounds, with fifty-three different undergraduate degrees from 69 different universities being represented.

For a fourth consecutive year, the entrance credentials of McGeorge’s entering class increased its entrance credentials this year for each degree program offered at the school.

Collectively, the new class speaks 15 different languages, including Arabic, Spanish, Punjabi, Hindu, Sign-Language, and Russian. One student even speaks 6 languages.

Many of the students bring prior work experience to law school, including business owners, paralegals, high school sport coaches, outreach directors, church organizers, and more.

First-year law student Yana Nebyshinets spent the past 10 years working with and empowering survivors of violence within the criminal justice system, with a special focus on women and young girls who have been abused. By obtaining a law degree, Nebyshinets hopes to better advocate on behalf of survivors.

“McGeorge has a stellar reputation of creating top-tier lawyers who are competitive on a global scale,” Nebyshinets said. “The University of Pacific has a history of community investment that appealed to the values I hold. These factors, in combination with its central location in our State's Capitol, made it an easy choice for me.”

First-year law student Saul Vargas decided to go to law school to be able to address housing issues and disputes that his community faces.

“McGeorge offers multiple ways to gain practical experience through its clinics and established externships,” Vargas said. “I hope to take advantage of these skills, as well as McGeorge’s expansive and active alumni network, for my entire career as a lawyer.”

Graduate, online, and international program students

McGeorge also welcomed Master of Laws (LLM), Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of Science in Law (MSL) students, and visiting scholars to the Sacramento campus earlier this month.

This year’s class of graduate, online, and international program students arrive at McGeorge from 11 different countries and two American Indian nations.

The new class of MSL students is 69 percent women. Forty-six percent of the incoming MSL students are completing their degree entirely online.

Notably, this year’s class of MPA students is comprised of 73 percent women. This is the highest percentage of women enrolled in the MPA program in McGeorge’s history. Additionally, 45 percent of the MPA class identifies as Latinx and 18 percent have military experience.

First-year MPA student Tyler Hart is committed to being a voice for underserved populations. Hart views an MPA degree as an essential tool for carrying out positive changes in his community.

“I chose McGeorge School of Law for its strong ties to California’s Capital City, and its reputation for providing students with unparalleled opportunities to learn from experienced law and policy professionals,” Hart said.