From recording a sixth consecutive year of enrollment growth to statewide recognition of students and faculty, 2022 was a strong year for UMass Law. Read to learn more about the achievements of the law school, its faculty and students, and how they work to Pursue Justice in the Commonwealth and beyond.
UMass Law welcomed the incoming Class of 2025 with a sixth consecutive year of enrollment growth. The class records the highest median LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs in the law school’s history, with students hailing from 14 different nations, nearly half of the U.S. states, and 93 undergraduate colleges.
Applicants to UMass Law can now submit either the results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the results of the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). While most applicants continue to apply with the LSAT, the GRE option is expected to draw more diverse applicants, make law school admission more accessible, and reduce barriers to the legal profession.
New agreements with Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, and Bridgewater State University increased the number of UMass Law’s 3+3 degree program partners to 15 and includes the first in Rhode Island. In this accelerated program, students can earn their undergraduate and law degrees in six rather than seven years.
A grant of $150,000 from the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education was awarded to partners UMass Dartmouth, UMass Law, and Massasoit Community College to establish a Transformative Justice Program and Center. The grant funds a Transformative Justice Practitioner’s Certificate Program to serve students from the three institutions and funds the process to begin establishing a Transformative Justice Center at UMassD.
UMass Law students are 100% guaranteed an internship or field placement that complements their classroom learning while providing real-world legal experience. Last summer, UMass Law students worked to abate the state housing crisis through internships funded by BayCoast Bank, participated in Civic Action Project Fellowships in law and public policy, and served as a Michael Dukakis Public Service Intern at Massachusetts Advocates for Children.
Raven Francomano, JD ’22 was one of only two Massachusetts law students to be honored by the Supreme Judicial Court with the Adams Pro Bono Publico Award for pro bono legal services to the arts. At her UMass Law graduation in May, Francomano was honored with the Pro Bono Award for 768 hours of pro bono legal services provided through Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. In total, she has accumulated 840 pro bono hours.
The UMass Law Class of 2022 completed their law degrees under unexpected and unprecedented circumstances. During spring break of their first year in March 2020, their classes converted to remote learning as they navigated law school during a global pandemic. They students returned to in-person classes during their final year and their resilience in earning their law degrees was praised often at their Commencement ceremony.
New faculty and staff joined UMass Law this fall, bringing strong teaching, research, and career experience. They include Assistant Professors Faisal Chaudhry and Roni Amit and Visiting Professors Michael Hasday and Lisa Owens. A former managing editor of UMass Law Review, Erica Sylvia ’15, JD ’17, returned as assistant director of bar success.
A day after learning that 50 migrants from Venezuela were transported to Joint Base Cape Cod, UMass Law Professor Hillary Farber and Assistant Professor Roni Amit, joined by two Spanish-speaking law students, drove to the shelter housing the immigrants. The law professors and students spent the day providing legal assistance, interviewing, researching, and contacting lawyers to help the migrants pursue humanitarian relief.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Shaun Spencer presented at an international symposium on social media regulation and the First Amendment held at Loyola Chicago Law School. His presentation, “Mandatory Social Media Labeling and the Zauderer Test,” discussed the First Amendment implications of a pending Senate bill, the Social Media Nudge Act.
Professor Justine Dunlap was appointed to the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission by the Supreme Judicial Court for a three-year term. The commission’s mission is to achieve equal justice for all persons in the Commonwealth. Dunlap has created and teaches a course on access to justice.
For the fourth consecutive year, UMass Law was recognized by the Equal Justice Coalition for exceptional participation in the Talk to the Hill event, which raises awareness for civil legal aid funding. UMass Law has participated in the event for seven years, reinforcing the law school’s mission to Pursue Justice.
Professor Margaret Drew attended the invitation-only bill signing ceremony that ended child marriage in Massachusetts. Professor Drew was part of the core group that drafted the legislation and several UMass Law students in the Human Rights at Home Clinic worked to promote passage of the bill that was signed by former Governor Charlie Baker.
Professor Hillary Farber was appointed to the Law Enforcement Body Camera Task Force by Governor Baker. The task force’s mission is to propose regulations for the procurement and use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement officers throughout the Commonwealth.