Published: Aug. 20, 2010

Dean David Getches made his traditional Welcome Speech to the Class of 2013 and told the first-year law students, “You now take on the mantle of a professional. You make a cultural transformation.” He added, “There is one value we do want you to cultivate while here. And that is a belief in the importance of the rule of law. A belief that is strong enough to stand up for the rule of law.”The Class of 2013’s 180 students ranging in age from 21 to 49 and 22% is from a diverse racial or ethnic background. Students hail from 39 states and Canada and from 109 colleges and universities. More than half ranked in the top 90th percentile of all LSAT takers in the nation. And a quarter had an undergraduate GPA of 3.75 or above. See Facts & Figures for to see the class by the numbers.The first-year students attend a week of orientation this year, with the theme of “Professionalism, Civility, and Inclusiveness.” In addition to the presentations from department heads, faculty, and student associations, the students had the honor of hearing a presentation from U.S. District Court Judge Marcia S. Krieger (’79) and Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Russell Carparelli on “Civility, Professionalism and Rule of Law.” Judge Krieger also administer the lawyer’s oath to all the students. This year’s required reading for group discussion with faculty was The Lost Children of Wilder: The Epic Struggle to Change Foster Care by NY Times reporter Nina Bernstein who explored the genesis and aftermath of the landmark 1973 legal case filed by young ACLU attorney Marcia Lowry against the New York State foster-care system.The students also saw the Thin Blue Line, a 1988 documentary film about Randall Dale Adams, a man convicted and sentenced to die for a murder he did not commit. Adams' case was reviewed and he was released from prison approximately a year after the film's release. Students heard from commentators Lino Lipinski, ACLU Board Chair, and Howie Movshovitz, Film Critic and University of Colorado at Denver Professor. In addition, the students heard from Mark Fogg (’79) and the CBA/DBA Professionalism Committee on “Legal Professionalism.”The Class of 2013 will be the first class under the new first-year curriculm, including a newly created Legislation and Regulation course.