UC Irvine law school's scholarships a boon for recruitment

IRVINE — Students in the second class at UC Irvine's law school will receive scholarships covering half their tuition, the university announced today.

Last year, before the law school had its first class, the university offered full scholarships as a way of recruiting top students.

Dean Erwin Chemerinsky said the scholarships recruited a class with students whose median grade point average and LSAT scores put them on a par with UCLA as a top 15 school in the nation.

"We have every reason to believe next school year we'll be as good or better,'' Chemerinsky said.

Recruiting for the next class is "going really well,'' he added. "We're well ahead of last year's pace of applications and we couldn't be more pleased.''

The first class of 60 students get free rides for the three-year program thanks to a $20-million gift from Irvine Co. Chairman Donald Bren. Next year's class of about 80 students will get half off the in-state annual tuition of $40,000 and $50,000 for students who haven't established California

The law school is expected to expand from 18 full-time law professors and four other professors who also teach in other departments, Chemerinsky said. The school is expected to add four to six more professors for the upcoming year.

"We'll have 26 to 28 faculty for 140 students and no other school can touch that student-to-teacher ratio,'' Chemerinsky said.

The goal is to have about 200 students per class.