UC Irvine logo.JPGIn October, we reported that the new law school at UC Irvine would be offering a full scholarship to students who enrolled for the fall 2009 semester. It looks like the strategy paid off. The school received 2,741 applications for 68 positions. According to the school’s press release, that makes UC Irvine School of Law the most selective law school in the country:

The University of California, Irvine School of Law has chosen its inaugural class by accepting only 4% of its applicants, making it the most selective of any law school in the nation.

UC Irvine accepted only 110 of a total of 2,741 applicants to fill its 68 first-year positions, for an acceptance rate of 4%. By comparison, Yale Law School at 7%, and Stanford Law School at 9%, are the only other law schools with single-digit acceptance rates, according to the most recent data available from the American Bar Association (2007).

With all the kerfuffle about the U.S. News rankings, it’s a good time to point out that people like getting into “selective” law schools. UC Irvine also reports that its yield rate on its offers is 62%, third behind Harvard and Yale.

Offering free tuition in a down market is nothing to laugh at:

UC Irvine’s founding dean, Erwin Chemerinsky, attributes the high number of applications per position and the high quality of the incoming class to the strength and support of the University of California, Irvine, to the high quality of the founding faculty, and to the three-year, full-tuition scholarship offered to each member of the first-year class.

“We are extremely pleased to have fielded such a high-caliber inaugural class,” said Chemerinsky. “Along with a faculty that was ranked in the top 10 in the nation in a recent study, this will allow us to be considered among the best law schools in the country from the very start,” he said. “Our goal and the university’s goal was to be a top 20 law school from the moment we open our doors in August.”

Good luck Irvine. We might not need more law schools, but you have to hope this “free” thing catches on.

Read the full press release after the jump.


UC IRVINE SCHOOL OF LAW — PRESS RELEASE– MOST SELECTIVE U.S. LAW SCHOOL

New UC Irvine School of Law Is the Most Selective of Any U.S. Law School

The University of California, Irvine School of Law has chosen its inaugural class by accepting only 4% of its applicants, making it the most selective of any law school in the nation.

UC Irvine accepted only 110 of a total of 2,741 applicants to fill its 68 first-year positions, for an acceptance rate of 4%. By comparison, Yale Law School at 7%, and Stanford Law School at 9%, are the only other law schools with single-digit acceptance rates, according to the most recent data available from the American Bar Association (2007).

UC Irvine received more than 40 applications for each of its positions in its first class, which is also a first among law schools by a wide margin. The most competitive law schools typically receive around 20 to 30 applications per slot, according to ABA data.

The law school’s yield rate, or the percentage of admitted students who choose to attend, is 62%, with 68 students committing to come from 110 who were accepted. This is second only to Harvard Law School, which has a 68% percent yield rate, and Yale, with a 78% rate, according to ABA data.

The law school’s high selectivity allowed it to field a class mirroring that of top law schools. The incoming class will have a median grade point average of 3.65 and a median LSAT score of 167. That puts it on par with law schools rated in the top 20 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

UC Irvine’s founding dean, Erwin Chemerinsky, attributes the high number of applications per position and the high quality of the incoming class to the strength and support of the University of California, Irvine, to the high quality of the founding faculty, and to the three-year, full-tuition scholarship offered to each member of the first-year class.

“We are extremely pleased to have fielded such a high-caliber inaugural class,” said Chemerinsky. “Along with a faculty that was ranked in the top 10 in the nation in a recent study, this will allow us to be considered among the best law schools in the country from the very start,” he said. “Our goal and the university’s goal was to be a top 20 law school from the moment we open our doors in August.”

UC Irvine School of Law’s inaugural class of 68 is 56% female and 44% male, 37% students of color, and its average age is 25. Almost half the students graduated from out-of-state colleges and universities.

Contact: [Redacted]

About University of California, Irvine School of Law

UCI School of Law seeks to create the ideal law school for the 21st century by doing the best job in the country of training lawyers for the practice of law at the highest levels of the profession. Each member of UCI’s inaugural class of 68 students will arrive in August supported by a three-year, full-tuition scholarship and a nearly 3:1 student to faculty ratio. The 15 members of UCI’s founding faculty are drawn from top schools and have already been ranked in the top 10 in a recent study. The Law School’s innovative curriculum stresses hands-on, interdisciplinary study and public service. About 70 law firms and employers have already signed on to interview on campus. www.law.uci.edu

New UC Irvine School of Law Is the Most Selective of Any U.S. Law School [UC Irvine School of Law]

Earlier: Open Thread: Free Law School in California


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