One hundred and sixty-seven new students began their law school careers this week at Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law. The school’s Launch Week provided a comprehensive four-day orientation to familiarize students with law school life and prepare them for the substantive, procedural, and professional aspects of their legal education.
After the students met their new classmates, Dean Matt Parlow welcomed the group and introduced members of the law school community Tuesday morning. “Your legal training here will be the foundation that helps you make a difference in your community and achieve your professional goals,” he said.
Later in the day, the students heard words of advice and inspiration from Orange County Bar Association President Michael Baroni, Fowler School of Law Assistant Dean of Admission and Diversity Initiatives Justin Cruz, and Student Bar Association President Caitlin Harrington (JD ’18). Throughout the week, students took mock classes, participated in exam-taking workshops, and received professionalism guidance from administrators and faculty members.
The class of 2020 represents 68 undergraduate institutions, 16 states, and six foreign countries. The class is 26 percent first-generation college students and 43 percent minority students.
On Wednesday, Alex Winsberg, Director of Legal Affairs and Risk Management for Angels Baseball addressed the students during a special keynote luncheon. Winsberg has been a friend of the law school for several years, including serving as a member of Fowler School of Law’s Business Law Emphasis Program Advisory Board. He encouraged the students to move beyond their comfort zone in law school, using his own experience as a law student as an example. He also congratulated the students on their decision to attend Chapman.
“Chapman is a rising star in the law school community,” he said. “You have a wonderful set of alumni and a great and growing reputation in the community.”
On Thursday, students enjoyed lunch with their “big siblings,” second- and third-year students selected to serve as mentors during their first year of law school. Each year, the big siblings welcome the incoming class and offer advice on adjusting to law school life. First-year students also met faculty, alumni, administrators, and students at a traditional En Banc networking reception in the law school lobby.
Launch Week also offered an opportunity for students’ loved ones to join in the experience at the popular “Parents and Partners” session. This part of the program included a special presentation by Associate Dean for Student Affairs & Administration Jayne Kacer and a mock law school class taught by Professor Scott Howe.
Wrapping up the orientation program, Dean Parlow administered a Professionalism Oath to the students, with proud family members and partners in attendance.