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Letter from Dean: Reflecting on Recent Rankings Successes

Dean Tacha Thanks Pepperdine Community for Support

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." Ecclesiastes 3 (KJV)

Now is the time to be thankful for your tireless support of Pepperdine University School of Law and its mission to train lawyers for lives of purpose, service and leadership. We have been blessed during what has been a very difficult time in the California legal market and in legal education generally. Although we are still dissatisfied with the high debt load experienced by our graduates and the limited career opportunities so many still face, we need to take this moment to celebrate how several national news outlets have recognized Pepperdine University School of Law. The U.S. News & World Report released its 15th edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools" on Monday. Pepperdine's Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution is ranked #1 in the nation for the 10th consecutive year! Pepperdine University School of Law advanced 7 places in the rankings, going from #61 to #54 out of 194 law schools. This ranking puts us among the top seven law schools in California, tied with UC Hastings. We also were recognized by The National Jurist as the top-ranked California law school for experiential learning, putting us at #7 in the country for experiential learning.

To have advanced in this way is a tribute to so many people--our students, our faculty, our staff our administration, our alumni, and our faithful donors. During a time of declining law school applications, our Admissions Committee and staff brought in a stellar class without reducing the size of the class. In a most challenging legal employment market, we improved job placements for our students and graduates. Special thanks go to our hard-working Career Development Office and our alumni hiring efforts. I want to give special credit to President Benton and Provost Tippens who, in an uncertain year, allowed us to hire exceptional new faculty members. Everything is important. We have been working on all fronts. Lest it appear that this is all about rankings, it is not! I truly believe that Pepperdine Law is poised to continue to find the right way to form lawyers who will serve the future with a sense of our mission, their purpose, and leadership into an unknown and difficult future. Thanks so much to everyone who had a part in this remarkable achievement in a challenging year. I am honored and humbled to work with all of you.