People choose a specific law school for many and varied reasons. I know that many of you will select a school because you believe it is the "best" law school you can get into. Some of you want to attend a school in a particular geographical region, while others of you will select an institution because you believe its program offers specialization in certain fields of the law. Perhaps some applicants want to attend a school with a particular religious affiliation. And all of you are concerned about the cost of legal education, and the value and marketability of your J.D. degree once you graduate.
These are all valid considerations, and Marquette merits your serious consideration for any of these reasons. However, I suggest there are some other things you should also think about. First, what is your experience in law school going to be like? Will you become part of a supportive family of students, faculty, administrators and alumni? Second, what kind of person will you be as a result of your legal education? Will law school help you to gain a respect for all persons and an understanding of how law can help people resolve difficult problems, often in times of great stress? Will you be a better person after law school, or not?
To me, the law is a helping profession. As a Catholic and Jesuit law school, we have a particular obligation to assure that the education that is provided at Marquette is designed to enhance our students' respect for all people, while assuring that our students become skilled lawyers who can excel in the legal profession.
Marquette provides you with an unusual opportunity. First, we are an outstanding law school. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that you will have the substantive knowledge, skills, and values essential to practice law in the twenty-first century. We are extremely proud that we train lawyers—lawyers who practice in all areas of the profession, in private firms and public agencies, in Wisconsin and throughout the United States. It is no accident that many of our alumni are state and federal judges, and that many Marquette University Law School graduates are business and political leaders. We teach our students to have the skills to succeed in whatever branch of our profession they select. Part of the Jesuit tradition of education is encouraging students to become agents for positive change in society. This is especially important in a law school.