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Pepperdine Caruso Law Welcomes the Class of 2026

On August 14, 2023, Pepperdine Caruso Law was pleased to welcome the class of 2026 to Launch Week, a week-long introduction to law school and professional formation.  Greeted by student ambassadors, faculty, and staff, the incoming class of 185 students gathered on campus to begin their legal studies. Caruso Law is proud to have enrolled a class with impressive credentials, with a 3.85 median undergraduate GPA and a 164 median LSAT score, representing 81 undergraduate schools. The Caruso Law community looks forward to the outstanding future accomplishments of the class of 2026.

Dean Paul Caron and his wife Courtney began the program on Monday with welcoming remarks and a prayer. Dean Caron conveyed his hope that the incoming students love their time at Caruso Law, and that they leave knowing their professional and personal callings in law and in life.

Paul Caron at podium Launch Week 2023

The students then heard remarks from founding dean Ronald F. Phillips, Caruso Law dean emeritus and Pepperdine University senior vice chancellor. Dean Phillips was followed by the Honorable Andre Birotte, Jr. (JD '91) of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, who delivered his inspirational speech, "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway," encouraging the entering class to embrace and overcome the challenges of law school.

On Tuesday, the program continued with presentations on "Introduction to Professional Excellence," "Unity and Collaboration," and "Belonging at Pepperdine." The day ended with an array of food trucks for a festive lunch.

On Wednesday, faculty members joined the program to introduce themselves and the courses of study that the incoming class would soon be starting. 

Professor Harry Caldwell with students

Pepperdine University president Jim Gash (JD '93) presented "Leadership: The Pepperdine Way" on Thursday, in which he encouraged the students to seek meaningful relationships among their professors, mentors, and peers on the own professional journeys. The Honorable Jennifer Dorsey (JD '97) of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, then spoke on "Reputation and Integrity," dressed in a pink suit as an homage to the newly-released Barbie movie. 

The day continued with the highlight of Launch Week, Professionalism Ceremony for the class of 2026. The professionalism oath serves as a promise to uphold the Pepperdine Caruso Law Honor Code, as well as a committment to the highest standards of the profession, including honesty, integrity, civility, humility, justice, and service. The students then combined what they had learned during Launch Week to write the oath. To administer the oath, Judge Dorsey was joined by Dean Caron, and, continuing the motion picture tribute, they appeared as Judge Barbie and Dean Ken.

Dean Paul Caron and Judge Jennifer Dorsey

Launch Week concluded on Friday with the first day of class for the incoming students, followed by a barbeque lunch at Pepperdine's Alumni Park, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The entire Caruso Law community joyfully extends a warm welcome to the class of 2026.  

Launch Week barbeque 223