2019 2019: UMass Law: 2019 in review

UMass Law Fall 2019 entering students gathered
2019 2019: UMass Law: 2019 in review
UMass Law: 2019 in review

2019 was a year of many accomplishments for our students, faculty, and staff.

Student Success

For the second year in a row, UMass Law applications grew by more than 20%, while the national average was a 1.5% decrease. Only nine of the 200+ law schools in the United States experienced at least a 20% increase in applications this year.

UMass Law saw a 21.5% first-year enrollment increase; the 113 new students brought total enrollment to 279 students. Incoming student LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs increased across the board, making the incoming class the most academically qualified in the history of the school.

UMass Law saw continued bar and employment success in 2019. On the July 2019 Massachusetts Bar Exam, UMass Law’s pass rate was 82.6% for first-time test takers, outscoring the statewide average.

The Commonwealth’s only public law school outperformed area private schools in employment rates, with 86% of 2018 graduates employed or pursuing graduate degrees.

Mary Brigh Lavery, JD/MPP candidate '20 interned with the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators this summer as a Rappaport Scholar. Mary Brigh is our fifth Rappaport Scholar in five years.

Alexandria Murphy, JD candidate '21 interned with Senator Rodrigues this summer as a Michael Dukakis Public Service Fellow and finished a JAG internship with this semester.

Alexandria Murphy
Alexandria Murphy, JD candidate '21 during her internship with Senator Rodrigues

Rankings and recognitions

PreLaw Magazine named UMass Law one of the best law schools for practical training based on clinics, externships, simulation classes, and pro bono work.

UMass Law was one of five law schools featured for successful strategies for helping students pass the bar exam in National Conference of Bar Examiners' summer volume of Bar Examiner.

In its 2019 edition, the Black Student’s Guide to Law Schools & Firms ranked us as one of the top five law schools for black students in the east.

The Class of 2019 ranked #1 in New England for the percentage of graduating students of color.

The SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce recognized the Community Development Clinic and students with the 2019 Education Leadership Award for assisting in the integration of the Fall River and New Bedford Chambers of Commerce.

Law Students Graduating

Expanding opportunities

New 3+3 agreements were created with Salem State University, Assumption College, and Anna Maria College, bringing the total number of fast track programs with local universities to twelve. Under these agreements, students can earn a bachelor’s degree and a law degree in six, rather than seven, years.

The additions of James Freeley, Dustin Marlan, Elizabeth McCuskey, Danya Reda, and John Towers Rice to the full-time faculty brought expertise on business law, food and drug law, health law, intellectual property, and more.

2019 brought new scholarship opportunities like the Hispanic Police Officers of New Bedford Scholarship and a scholarship endowment in memory of Mardee Xifaras.

2019 Law Review Symposium
2019 UMass Law Review Symposium

UMass Law events

This year's annual Justice Week focused on contemporary social justice issues like the #MeToo movement, immigration, bail reform, and more. Hosted by the National Lawyers’ Guild – UMass Law Chapter, the Black Law Students Association, and other UMass Law affinity groups, the theme was "Gender, Gentry, and Grace."

The 2019 annual UMass Law Review Symposium featured local and national experts on the intersection of media and law. Panel topics included Media Engagement in Politics & Government, Cyber Law Concerns in the Digital Age, and Creativity in an Evolving Regulatory Environment.