UND School of Law welcomes Class of 2026
Eighty-five first-year law students, members of the UND School of Law Class of 2026, began their legal education this week.
Their journey began with a Convocation ceremony held Sunday evening at the Chester Fritz Auditorium with their family and friends in attendance. Andrew Armacost, UND president; Eric Link, UND vice president for academic affairs and provost; Brian Pappas, UND School of Law dean; and Brad Parrish, UND School of Law assistant dean of student services, gave remarks. Jack Marcil ’68, Serkland Law Firm attorney, delivered the convocation address.
In his address, Marcil shared his own law school experiences and advice for the newest students of UND School of Law. First, he told them the importance of persevering when times are challenging. “The first year for me was very difficult. I was going to quit because I was so disappointed,” he said. “You’ve got to put your time in, and you’ve got to work hard, and it will pay off.”
Second, Marcil explained that time management is one of the most important skills for a first-year law student. He instructed them to treat law school like a job and you will be successful.
Next, develop relationships and network. Marcil encouraged the students to get involved with internships, moot court, and law review. He advised them to get to know their professors and network with their classmates.
His last piece of advice was that professionalism begins today. “Reputation matters. You will be respected or disrespected in law school and that carries on,” said Marcil. “You are going to set a standard and if you set the right standard, a professional standard, you are going to be doing fine.”
Each member of the class crossed the stage and received a UND School of Law pad-folio and a Class of 2026 pin from Pappas. The ceremony concluded with the class taking the UND School of Law Oath of Professionalism, led by Pappas.
The class consists of 44 women and 41 men from 17 states and two Canadian provinces, including North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Texas, California, Oklahoma, Utah, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Virginia, Manitoba, and Alberta. They come to UND with degrees in accounting, drama, biochemistry, English, business, psychology, and criminal justice, among other fields. The class ranges in age from 19-52 with an average age of 25.
The class holds an average LSAT score of 149.5 and an average GPA of 3.42. Five members of the class are enrolled in UND’s accelerated 3 plus 3 law program and one is enrolled in a joint degree program.
Orientation week continues through Friday, Aug. 18. During the week, students will learn about the program of legal education, gain tips and strategies for achieving academic success, familiarize themselves with the law school building and community, discover health and wellbeing habits, tips, and resources and begin the first portion of their Lawyering Skills class.
“You are here because we believe in you and we are going to do everything we can to help you be successful,” said Pappas to the class. “You are here because we know you are going to be great lawyers.”