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Wayne Law welcomes incoming class

August 30, 2013

DETROIT -- The incoming class at Wayne State University Law School comprises 139 students who hail from 37 colleges and universities and range in age from 21 to 57.

Incoming students did their undergraduate major work in a variety of fields, including accounting, biology, engineering, environmental studies, German and philosophy.

According to Ericka Jackson, Wayne Law assistant dean of admissions, the new law students include some who have carved distinctive paths to law school. These first-year students include a firefighter, a professional figure skater, a homemaker, military veterans, teachers, engineers, a filmmaker and a state representative.

“Each class is unique, and this year is no exception,” Jackson said. “I can’t wait to watch these students grow and learn while they make their marks on Wayne Law, the city of Detroit and beyond.”

Nearly all — 97 percent — of the class is from Michigan. The average age is 25, median LSAT score is 157 and median grade point average is 3.43.

Admitted students are chosen by the Wayne Law Admissions Committee based on academic achievement, potential and a diverse array of personal attributes.

For first-year student Ameena Sheikh-Walczak, it was the recommendations of alumni that made her choose Wayne Law. And she believes some of the personal attributes she learned as a competitive figure skater will help her with the rigors of law school and with being a good lawyer someday.

“I feel my skating background affords me a good tool to do well in law school — time management, putting myself out there with confidence, taking criticism, self-motivation, working with others,” she said. “I skated pairs toward the end. It’s an all-consuming sport. It’s tough as nails. When I was going full time to the Honors College at Oakland University, I was working part time as a coach and skating for Team USA.”

She now works as a professional skating coach, and one of her students is the Honorable Marilyn Kelly, Wayne Law’s first distinguished jurist in residence.

“I chose Wayne Law because of the alumni network,” said Sheikh-Walczak, who grew up in Lexington, Ky., and lives in Bloomfield Hills. “A lot of the skaters I coached and skaters’ parents I know were Wayne alumni. They all recommended that I look into Wayne for law school. Justice Kelly just reinforced it all.”

For Cornelius Porter III of Detroit, another first-year student, the choice of Wayne Law was based on its excellent reputation and because Wayne State University offers so much support to veterans.

“Those were the key factors for me,” said Porter, who is a U.S. Army veteran and an independent filmmaker who has formed his own company, Honor and Integrity Films.

His first film, a documentary about two combat veterans and the difficult transition they have to make when they come home from overseas, premiered to a standing-room-only crowd at the Emagine Theater in Royal Oak in November. Now he’s working with potential investors to make a larger film portraying a fictional story of combat veterans returning home and their families. He’s excited to be in law school, and is — for now — torn between two areas of legal practice.

“I haven’t completely decided which direction I want to go — entertainment business law or human rights,” Porter said.

For more information about attending Wayne Law, contact the Law School Admissions Office at lawinquire@wayne.edu or (313) 577-3937.

Photos:

  • Ameena Sheikh-Walczak

  • Cornelius Porter III

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