All ten new senators graduated from college (I added Mark Kelly of Arizona to that group even though he took office in December. Also included are the two expected winners in Georgia – Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff). Seven earned college degrees, including two JDs (Bill Hagerty of Tennessee; and Cynthia Lummis, Wyoming) and one MD (Roger Marshall, Kansas). Warnock holds three university degrees, including a Ph.D. degree. John Hickenlooper (Colorado) earned a master`s degree in geology and Mark Kelly (Arizona) earned a master`s degree in aeronautical engineering. Ossoff earned a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics. This presentation contains profiles of the 175 members of Congress who have graduated in law. Some were recently elected and others have served in Congress for decades.
Bios are organized by state. The 117th U.S. Congress met on January 3, 2021. In addition to the election of a new president, the 2020 national elections produced ten new senators and 60 new members to the House of Representatives. While most post-election political commentary has naturally focused on the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, as well as Donald Trump`s increasingly dangerous disregard for his electoral defeat, the incoming class of new senators and representatives is an interesting group of elected officials with a rich diversity of backgrounds. Chambers Associate`s research found that of the 535 members who make up the 116th Congress, 40 percent had attended law school. Legal education was even more common among senators – 54% attended law school, compared to 37% internally. The college pedigrees of this freshman class were divided between those who attended elite institutions and those who stayed closer to home and graduated from a college or university in the state where they were elected. If you look at the top 20 national universities on U.S. News` 2021 list, 17 of the 70 (24%) new senators and representatives have received at least one of their degrees from a college on this list.
In comparison, 40 of the 102 (39%) new senators and representatives elected for the first time in 2018 received at least one degree from a top-20 institution. 45 Jews served in the 111th Congress. Eleven representatives and six senators were Mormons. Senator Olympia Snowe and Representatives John Sarbanes, Zack Space, Gus Bilirakis, Dina Titus, Niki Tsongas and Melissa Bean are Eastern Orthodox Christians. Harvard Law is the best example of this. Tea Party favorite Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) may have attended the meeting with three other Republican senators, but the school`s graduates are overwhelmingly Democrats. Four Democratic senators attended the institution in Massachusetts, as well as 15 Democrats in the House of Representatives. The number of former Republicans in the House of Representatives? Zero. There were 13 American Jews, 2 Cuban-Americans (Bob Menendez, D-NJ and Ted Cruz, R-TX), 1 Hawaiian Native (Daniel Akaka, D-HI) and 1 African American, Roland Burris (D-IL). The average age of senators in 2007 was 62.
 The oldest senator was Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), born January 23, 1924. The youngest senator was Carte Goodwin (D-WV), born February 27, 1974. The median age of all Americans was 38.  Five members of the U.S. Senate were of Middle Eastern descent, all five were of Arab-American descent, and four were of Lebanese descent. James Abouretsk, who served from 1973 to 1979, became the first Lebanese-American senator. George Mitchell (1980-95 term), who is half-Lebanese, became the first American party leader in the Middle East, having served as Senate majority leader from 1989 to 1995. James Abdnor (1981-87) and Spencer Abraham (1995-2001) were also Lebanese-American senators, while John Sununu was the only person of Palestinian descent to serve in Congress. MP Anna Eshoo is also of Middle Eastern origin, she is Assyrian.
Forty percent of the current Congress has attended law school — 54 percent of senators and 37 percent of House members have law degrees. Chambers Associate`s Thomas Lewis examines the law schools they attended, including breakdowns by elite school attendance, party line differences, and state representation. Like their Senate colleagues, the majority (53%) have obtained a university degree. The MBA tops the list, with eight of the new representatives holding this degree. The J.D. was right behind, with seven repetitions earning a law degree. The rest of those who earned a master`s degree tended to do so in political studies of one kind or another, communication or education. The group had two Ph.D. (Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia has a Ph.D.
and Jamaal Bowman of New York with an Ed.D.) and two M.D. (Ronny Jackson in Texas and Mariannette Miller-Meeks in Iowa). There was also a doctor of pharmacy (Diana Harshbarger, Tennessee) The level of education of these new legislators is similar to those who preceded them, although a higher percentage of the 117th class of freshmen did not graduate from college than usual. Whether this is simply a slip of the tongue on the radar or a real signal of some sort of populist shift is uncertain. Only eight African Americans have served in the U.S. Senate. Hiram Revels and Blanche Bruce both served during the Reconstruction in the then predominantly black Mississippi. Black senators elected by the people include Edward Brooke (1967-79), Carol Moseley Braun (was the first black senator in 1993-99), Barack Obama (2005-08) and Cory Booker (2013-). Roland Burris (2008-2010 term) was nominated to complete the term of then-President Obama, and Tim Scott was appointed in January 2013 to end the term of Jim DeMint, who left the Senate to head the Heritage Foundation.  Brooke served in Massachusetts, while Braun, Obama and Burris each held the same seat in Illinois.
Scott is from South Carolina and was the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction. Booker won a special election in October 2013 and was the first African-American senator from New Jersey. He was elected to end the term of Frank Lautenberg, who died in June 2013. Scott and Booker faced re-election in 2014 and, if they ran and won, would become the first African-American senators elected to sit in the House at the same time. Just over half have graduated at least one of their degrees from a public institution, a trend consistent with that of other types of elected officials, such as governors and mayors of large cities. Yet if Southern lawyers are conservative in Congress, the reason is their Southern origins, not because they happen to be lawyers. If they were historians or sociologists, their rhetoric might take a different form, but the strategy behind them would be the same as it is today. If we focus on the top 14 elite law schools — a grouping based on U.S. news rankings — the results become even clearer. Risa Goluboff, dean of Virginia School of Law, says students learn to “understand what it means to be a lawyer and have that public trust. They must be prepared to honour the profession and be both outstanding citizens and lawyers. This certainly seems to be the case with Sam Ervin, Lister Hill and the late Estes Kefauver, who knew that their degrees from Harvard, Columbia and Yale carried little weight with the people at home.