Though less diverse, Class of 2004 has many talents

BY RECORD STAFF

The entering class at HLS is always talented. That’s no different this year, but the group of students fearing the first day of Civil Procedure is slightly less diverse than last year.

The composition of this year’s entering class of 530 showed a 4.3% decrease in the number of female students who now make up 44 percent of the 1L class.

Though she cited the use of deferments as one reason behind the slight dropoff in female students, Dean of Admissions Joyce Curll said that the myths surrounding HLS might be partly responsible.

“We tend to do better with the men,” said Dean Curll. “It’s a combination of factors. For one, we don’t have a very female faculty, and there’s a lot of hype about not being able to make your concerns heard.”

Minority enrollment also fell slightly this year, with 30 percent of the Class of 2004 claiming minority status. This figure represents a one percent decrease from last year’s entering class. Of that 30 percent, 14.4 percent of the 1Ls are Asian- or South Asian-American, 11.1 percent are African-American and 4.1 percent are Latino.

The 1Ls have immensely varied backgrounds, and include a number of students who have explored other professions. A physician, a law firm’s staff scientist, a court reporter for the Providence Journal and a State Department political officer will all be experiencing the joys of Hark dining for the first time.

And a number of the 1Ls settling in Cambridge will have seen the rest of the world. One worked with Kosovo refugees, another served in the U.S. Army in Kosovo as an Arabic linguist and a third lived among the Basques in Spain. Several students have worked for Project Health, the Public Defender and as union organizers. A teen counselor for at-risk youth, a defender of animal rights, an Americorps volunteer and a volunteer from Operation Smile are also in the Class of 2004. One student was chief speechwriter for President Clinton.

In the entertainment industry, one 1L was a child actor for sitcoms. Another student worked as the legal assistant to the president of IMAX, one toiled for CNN, and a third worked for the Red Sox. The Class of 2004 also boasts a student who was named one of Glamour Magazines top ten college women. Other students have worked as web designers and software engineers, and on Internet startups.

One student was born on a commune, while another was raised on a small farm. A third hiked the entire Appalachian Trail.

Geographically, the students came from 44 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The class is also very international, including 32 students from 17 foreign countries, including Australia (2), Canada (12), England (2), China (P.R.), Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica (2), Korea, Nigeria, Norway, Russia (2), Taiwan and Zimbabwe.

The Class of 2004 came to Cambridge from 167 colleges and universities. Harvard sent the most with 59 students, and Yale was a distant runner-up, sending 31 students. Twenty-seven 1L’s hale from Duke and 22 went to Columbia. A significant number of students also attended Princeton (18), Cornell (17), UCLA (17), Brown (16), Stanford (15) and Berkeley (14).

The group includes five British Marshall Scholars, a Commonwealth fellow at Oxford, Truman Scholars, Rotaries and Fullbrights, a Ron Brown Fellow and a NYC Urban Fellow.

Other 1Ls worked as interns for the U.S. Supreme Court and the White House.

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