Welcome to the Aggie Law Class of 2018

August 29, 2015

“I couldn't imagine going to law school anywhere else. I love the spirit, the core values, and the way that Aggies look out for each other.”
- Madison Howard, Class of 2018

It’s the start of the 2015-16 academic year, and the hallways of Texas A&M University School of Law are abuzz with the contagious energy of 139 newly minted Aggie Law students.

The Class of 2018 hails from more than 65 colleges and universities. Ethnically and geographically diverse, this class also represents a paradigm shift in the accessibility of legal education. Nearly one-fifth of them are among the first in their families to graduate college, including Staten Island native Joshua Ramirez.

“I am attending law school to be intellectually challenged,” Ramirez said. “I am attending law school to make my parents proud. I am attending law school because we need more Spanish lawyers who care about the people and rather than just call out the problem I get to be a part of the solution. I decided to attend law school because I want to help people and now I will be equipped to do just that.”

Ramirez continued, “Here at Texas A&M we don’t [just] learn to pass the bar – we learn to be great lawyers and all that it entails while also being great people. I chose Texas A&M because of its core values, because of its programs, and its incredible faculty and staff. Now that I am here I realize it wouldn’t have made sense to go anywhere else.”

Fellow classmate Meighan Arce concurred. “While I had a difficult time choosing a school towards the end, what helped me decide was how responsive the people at Texas A&M law were to all my questions and how helpful they were. It became pretty clear to me that Texas A&M valued me as a prospective student, and that they would provide as many resources as possible to help me and my fellow students be successful.”

“We are thrilled to welcome a wonderfully diverse and talented class to the law school this fall,” said Texas A&M University School of Law Vice Dean Aric Short. “The median age of these Aggies is 26, and they come from wide range of interesting backgrounds — some traditional, and some very unique. Their diversity will prove beneficial as they learn to work together and overcome challenges as a group. And all of those experiences will help prepare them for a rewarding and successful law practice.”

Service reflected an overarching theme of the three-day orientation, which fittingly concluded with an afternoon volunteering for the Tarrant County Food Bank.

“This project was important because it provided a chance for our new students not only to embrace, but to participate in, an Aggie tradition,” said Shawna Smith, program coordinator for Texas A&M Law’s Office of Student Affairs. “Students developed a deeper understanding of the core value of selfless service. The service project was an afternoon of selflessness, as students sorted and packaged food items for future delivery to needy families.”

For his part, Associate Dean for Special Projects and Executive Professor of Law William Byrnes said, “I’m looking forward to engaging with the Aggie diversity represented by this class, to say nothing of their enthusiasm. In watching their incoming student interviews, the quotes I consistently heard, ‘Aggieland is home’, ‘I feel like I could walk up to anyone and start a conversation with them,’ and ‘It’s like a big family here,’ tell me all I need to know.”

Howdy Aggie 1Ls and Gig 'em!

2015 Orientation Service DayTexas A&M Law students start the semester off with selfless service, volunteering at Tarrant County Food Bank
Photo credit: Doug Thurman, Texas A&M School of Law