More than 34 percent of the student body at The John Marshall Law School is composed of minority students. Of the 1,032 students currently enrolled in the law school’s J.D. program, 353 identify as African American, Asian, Hispanic and other diverse backgrounds. The numbers reflect John Marshall’s longstanding mission to encourage minority and under-represented students to pursue a career in the law.
“Our diversity is one of our many strengths. We are well positioned and prepared to build upon this strength as we train intellectually curious, diverse thinkers to become balanced, well-rounded and skillful attorneys,” said Director for Diversity, Student Development & Outreach Troy Riddle.
The law school, founded in 1899, was an early pioneer in opening its doors and admitting minorities, women and immigrants. John Marshall graduated its first female student in 1903, its first African-American student in 1904 and first Hispanic student in 1912.
These same students went on to become leaders in their communities. In 1915, John Marshall’s first Hispanic alumnus, William Rodriguez, became the first Hispanic alderman in Chicago. In 1950, Edith Sampson, a 1925 graduate, became the first African-American woman to serve as a representative to the United Nations. In 2001, alum Timothy C. Evans became the first African-American to serve as Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
In 2014, Evelyn Sanguinetti became the first Latina to hold the office of Lieutenant Governor in the United States, when she took the post in Illinois. That same year John Marshall graduate Carla Barnes became the Chief Public Defender for McClean County, Ill., making her the first African-American to lead any office within that county’s criminal justice system.
John Marshall offers more than 50 student organizations where students are encouraged to participate based on their interests. Some of these organizations include: Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, Black Law Students Association, Latino Law Student Association and the Middle Eastern Law Students Association