For future lawyers, the first day of law school is always memorable, and when you’re part of an inaugural class, it becomes even more momentous. In August 2023, the Wilmington University School of Law welcomed its first 20 students.
“It was such an amazing experience to be a part of the inauguration of the law school,” says Kendal Parliament, a J.D. candidate. “During orientation, it was overwhelmingly joyful meeting fellow students and professors! Seeing how everyone was so dedicated to our education and career confirmed I made the right decision in choosing Wilmington University law school.”
“Seeing how everyone was so dedicated to our education and career confirmed I made the right decision in choosing Wilmington University law school.” — Kendal Parliament
Women make up 55% of the inaugural class, and 40% of students represent diverse backgrounds.
“The law school’s orientation week has me in awe of the program. I am someone who has been aspiring to be a lawyer for most of his life,” describes fellow candidate Hector Torres-Diaz, who feels “excited for the future and all the opportunities we’ll get along the way.”
Four students have master’s degrees and three hold doctorates.
“We collectively recited the ‘Professionalism Oath for Students,’” recalls Dr. Marisa Rauscher, who teaches educational psychology at Neumann University. “The gravitas of the moment was palpable, and it felt like everyone knew we were embarking on a noteworthy journey.”
Her classmates on that journey range in age from 22 to 63 and hail from six states: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, California and Georgia. They learn in person at WilmU’s Brandywine location.
“This class ideally fits our mission. We couldn’t be happier,” says Phillip Closius, J.D., dean of the School of Law. “Our mission is to serve everybody who wants to go to law school. We have a phrase: ‘breaking down barriers to law school.’”
“The gravitas of the moment was palpable, and it felt like everyone knew we were embarking on a noteworthy journey.” — Dr. Marisa Rauscher
He adds, “By coming to Wilmington as our first class, they’re going to get a unique legal experience. We have seven faculty members teaching 20 students — 11 during the day and nine at night — so they’re getting real one-on-one teaching and student experience.”
It’s not only about the low student-to-faculty ratio: The professors make an impression.
“When I talk to our current students, literally all of them say a major factor in deciding to come here was watching the faculty videos on our website,” Closius says. “The support’s been overwhelming, and the caring is just genuine.”
Faculty members combine that care with commitment.
“We’re really student-oriented in everything we do, and that’s consistent with Wilmington University values,” Closius explains. “At the end of the day, people don’t want to be treated like a number.”
Click here to learn more about how Wilmington University’s new law school provides personalized attention and broad access to affordable legal education.