Incoming AUWCL students during Dean Camille Nelson's welcome remarks Tuesday, Aug. 21.

AUWCL Welcomes New Students to the 2018-19 School Year

August 24, 2018

American University Washington College of Law was proud to welcome a new, talented, and diverse group of students to campus this week for Fall Orientation.

Dean Camille Nelson delivers her welcome remarks to new AUWCL students during orientation.

“Lawyers must have a role in solving the problems percolating at the forefront of societal change,” Dean Camille Nelson said Tuesday during her welcome remarks to incoming students, including a JD class that represents 219 undergraduate institutions, is 58 percent women, and whose diversity representation is 35 percent. 

Nelson took the opportunity to discuss how the JD and LL.M. students would work together in the days and years to come, stressing civility. She encouraged the students to learn from each other and practice active listening and active learning.

Some 1L students on tour of the AUWCL campus, beginning with the Stephen S. Weinstein Courtroom.

“How we disagree matters, how we engage with one another matters,” she said.

The four-day JD orientation kicked off Monday with “In My Back Yard” Public Service Day, and included various activities and discussions to help new students get acquainted with faculty, upper-level students, the campus, and each other.

A conversation between alum Judge Reggie Walton ‘74, U.S. District Judge for D.C., and Vice Dean Tony Varona at orientation.

During Tuesday’s First-Year Diversity Panel, Judge Zuberi Williams ’03 told the new students that attending AUWCL helped him stay true to himself and his convictions.

“Being at WCL gave me the confidence, the ability to be rooted in doing what is right – even when you stand alone,” Williams said.

3L student Wendy Bonilla, president of the Latino/a Law Students’ Association and ADVANCE and vice president of the Student Bar Association, discussed her experience as a first-generation law student and daughter of immigrants. She said it is important for new students to remember why they came to law school.

“Did you come here to help your family, did you come here because you want to change the course of society right now with this administration – what drove you here?”

Of the incoming JD class of 2021 present at orientation:

  • 127 graduated with honors
  • 65 interned/worked on Capitol Hill
  • 57 have graduate degrees
  • 23 have served in the military
  • They were born in more 32 foreign countries
  • They speak 40 different languages
  • 40 percent studied abroad and 17 percent worked abroad in more than 50 different countries