One hundred and sixty-eight students — more than half of whom moved to North Carolina for their legal education — make up one of the largest and most diverse incoming classes ever created for Elon University Law School.
They are former paralegals and police officers, members of the armed forces and community volunteers. They held leadership positions in student governments or student organizations as undergraduates, and several participated in debates, mock trials, and moot court competitions.
Many have studied abroad in more than a dozen countries around the world. A few are fluent in more than one language, including Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese.
And their academic achievement set a new mark for an incoming class at Elon University Law School: The Class of 2024, which gathered under one roof for the first time Thursday morning, boasts the median GPA of highest undergraduate of any incoming class since the school opened in 2006.
For Acting Dean Alan Woodlief, the past achievements of Elon Law’s new students spell a bright future for the group over the next two and a half years.
“You’ve had great accomplishments in the past, which predict great accomplishments in the future, here at law school and beyond,” Woodlief told the 168 students who gathered in the ballroom on Thursday morning. Marriott Greensboro Downtown for a formal classroom introduction. “Your teachers and staff are there to give you opportunities…we are very happy to help you reach that ultimate potential.”
Among the characteristics of the Class of 2024:
- The class is made up of 66% women and 34% men
- 25% of the class identify as students of color
- 54% moved to North Carolina for an out-of-state law school, the largest out-of-state representation yet and proof of Elon Law’s growing geographic footprint due to its 2.5 year program
- 40 majors are represented, the most common being political science, criminal justice, English, psychology and communications
- Six members said they had served in the armed forces
- 10 members of the class hold advanced degrees, including a student with a doctorate in educational leadership and political studies
- 92 colleges and universities are represented among the incoming class’ undergraduate alma maters, with the largest contingents from UNC Chapel Hill (15), NC State University (12), and the University of South Carolina (10)
- The class includes a rider and triathlete, a certified diver, certified personal and CrossFit trainers, and a former member of the U.S. Junior Olympic Skeet Team.
- Several are Eagle Scouts and at least one is a Girl Scout Silver Award recipient
- One has served in Teach for America with others volunteering their time as camp counselors and volunteers for numerous organizations including Habitat for Humanity
The Class of 2024 was selected from 925 applicants. The second-largest class in Elon Law’s history had three fewer students than the 171 students who enrolled last year as part of the Class of 2023, and slightly more than the 164 students who enrolled in 2020.
Thursday’s welcome program took place on the second official orientation day. The students arrived at Elon Law on August 3, 2022 for administrative duties but were divided into three cohorts. It wasn’t until August 4 that the whole class gathered in the Marriott Ballroom.
Orientation culminates on August 5 with a convocation to Elon University’s main campus and subsequent professional development activities intended to help further refine professional etiquette in business and networking environments.
Students will also participate in regional service projects throughout August as part of Elon Law Reaches Out.
“I look forward to getting to know you better over the next few days, weeks, months and years,” Woodlief said. “I look forward to watching you channel your talent, energy and commitment to succeed in law school and in your legal careers.”
About Elon Law
Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina is the leading school for engaged and experiential learning in law. With an emphasis on learning-by-doing and among the top quartile of U.S. law schools for low levels of student debt at graduation, it integrates traditional classroom instruction with residencies in full-time practice linked to coursework in a logically sequenced program of transformational career preparation. Elon Law’s groundbreaking approach is accomplished in 2.5 years, which provides distinctive value by lowering tuition costs and allowing graduates to quickly enter their legal careers.