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At A Glance

California Western School of Law

California Western School of Law is the independent San Diego law school that educates lawyers as creative problem solvers and principled advocates - lawyers who frame the practice of law as a helping, collaborative profession. For more than 80 years, California Western has educated lawyers who are dedicated to improving the lives of their clients and the quality of the legal system.

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California Western School of Law's Full Profile

Program At a Glance

Total Program Enrollment 779
Incoming LSAT Scores (25th-75th Percentile) 148 - 155
Incoming GPA (25th-75th Percentile) 2.89 - 3.45
Bar Exam First Time Pass Rate 79.39%
Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 86.0%
Tuition $43,700

Overview

Overview

About California Western School of Law

California Western School of Law is the independent San Diego law school that educates lawyers as creative problem solvers and principled advocates - lawyers who frame the practice of law as a helping, collaborative profession. For more than 80 years, California Western has educated lawyers who are dedicated to improving the lives of their clients and the quality of the legal system.

Reviews

California Western School of Law "has an outstanding reputation in the San Diego legal community" for producing graduates with "top-notch real-world skills who can hit the ground running when they get hired." Classes are hands-on. There are three mandatory semesters of legal-skills training and oral-advocacy training. A flexible trimester system enables dedicated students to graduate in two years. Less flexible is California Western's grading curve, which contributes to "people getting kicked out of school for not having the required GPA."The "smart, witty, and extremely approachable" professors really care. "It takes really wanting to teach to be good at it, and we have some [professors] that really want to be in the trenches with the students," reports one student. Also, "everyone and everything is incredibly accessible at CWSL," gloats another student. "The professors all have an open- door policy, [and their] willingness to help with networking" is another plus. According to a few students, some professors have too much of a political agenda, though, and "need to actually teach instead of ranting and raving about their own political views," which tend to skew liberal. Students are mostly enthusiastic about the administration, describing the top brass as "responsive" and telling us that "the school genuinely cares."Many classrooms on the school's urban campus are technologically up-to-date. Others are "cramped, too cold, [and] inadequate for computers." Sometimes, the acoustics are not great, either. Students rave about the awesome, ultra-modern library. There are "plenty of quiet study areas," and the weather "allows studying outside in the cool courtyard." Also, CWSL is "located within walking distance of all the courthouses and close to lots of law offices."A few students call job prospects "horrendous." Others tell us that career services "is the absolute best thing about" the school. "I'm here to get a job, and they do an excellent job of encouraging and helping students to find jobs," exclaims one student. The nationally recognized CWSL internship program "allows students to get great experience and meet lawyers without the stress of begging for a job." Bottom line, "If you want to intern for a semester, the school will find you an internship," writes one student. The Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy "is the heart of this school [and] an indispensable tool for anyone thinking of getting into criminal law." Programs include the annual Trial Skills Academy and the California Innocence Project, which helps to free wrongfully convicted people from prison. "My overall experience has been wonderful," concludes one student. "Cal Western is like a Honda. It's good, reliable, and gets you where you want to go."

- The Princeton Review

Academics

Academics

Degree Programs Offered

Graduates Last Year: 23

Description: A program that prepares lawyers educated outside the United States to understand U. S. or Canadian law and jurisprudence.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Graduates Last Year: 275

Description: A program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of law, for taking state and national bar examinations, and for advanced research in jurisprudence. Includes instruction in the theory and practice of the legal system, including the statutory, administrative, and judicial components of civil and criminal law.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
Judicial Law Clerks
Assist judges in court or by conducting research or preparing legal documents.
Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers
Conduct hearings to recommend or make decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters. Determine liability, sanctions, or penalties, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or settlements.
Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
Facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue. Resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates
Arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.
Law Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses in law. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Graduates Last Year: 12

Description: An advanced, professional program of the U.S. legal system, Constitution law, and jurisprudence. Includes instruction in legal history, legal sociology, philosophy of law, Constitutional law, legal procedure, and related topics.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Joint Degree Programs Offered

JD/MSW Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work-4 years. JD/MBA Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration-4 years. JD/Ph.D. Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science or History - 5 years. Master's in Health Law

Specialty Law Programs

  • Constitutional
  • Criminal
  • Human Rights
  • International
  • Labor
  • Taxation
  • Intellectual Property

Faculty Information

Total Faculty 94
Full-Time Faculty 40
Deans, Librarians, and Others Who Teach 5
Part-Time Faculty 49
Faculty Gender 54% Male
45% Female
Student Teacher Ratio 16 : 1

Accreditation

Accredited by American Bar Association

Student Body

Student Body
Gender Breakdown 46% Male
54% Female
Student Diversity
Percentage
White 58%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0%
Multi-racial 2%
International 2%
Hispanic/Latino 15%
Ethnicity Unknown 5%
Black or African American 2%
Asian 14%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%

Finance

Finance

Sticker Price

On-Campus Off-Campus
Stated Tuition $43,700 Same as On-Campus
Housing N/A N/A
Books N/A N/A
Total (before financial aid) $43,700 $43,700

Financial Aid

87% Graduate students receiving financial aid (loans and grants)

$59,612 Average financial aid amount

Admissions

Admissions

Application Information

Deadline for Regular Decision: April 1

Average Age Admitted: 25

Application Fee: $55

Incoming Class

California Western School of Law's entering class of 2012 enrolled having these exam grades:

Exam Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
LSAT Full-Time 148 - 155
LSAT Part-Time 148 - 152
LSAT Total 148 - 155

California Western School of Law's entering class of 2012 enrolled having these college GPA's:

Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
Full-Time 2.89 - 3.45
Part-Time 2.95 - 3.38
Total 2.89 - 3.45

Admission Considerations

Very Important: Undergraduate GPA, Personal Essay

Important: Recommendations

Admission Requirements

Required: Personal Essay, Recommendations, Undergraduate GPA, Bachelor's degree, Standardized Test Scores

Optional: Interview, Extracurricular Activities, Work Experience, State Residency

Outcomes

Outcomes

Bar Exam Results

Percent Reporting 96%
First Time Pass Rate 79%
Avg. Pass Rate In This State 72%

Campus Recruitment

Number of Employers Recruiting on Campus 100
First Year Recruitment Time Summer
Second Year Recruitment Time Summer

Employment

Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 86%
Average Starting Salary $73,999
Job Sector Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Firm Sized 2-10 70 36%
Firm Sized 11-25 8 4%
Firm Sized 26-50 3 4%
Firm Sized 51-100 9 5%
Firm Sized 251-500 1 1%
Firm Sized 501+ 3 2%
Business Industry 37 19%
Government 18 9%
Public Interest 14 7%
Federal Clerkship 1 1%
State Clerkship 4 2%
Other Clerkship 1 1%
Academia 2 1%
Unemployed Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Unemployed, Not Seeking 9 3%
Unemployed, Seeking 57 20%
Pursuing Graduate Degree 1 0%

Top Employment Locations

State Percent Employed
NV 6%
CA 70%
International 2%

Famous Alumni

Well known alumni of California Western School of Law include:

  • James Lorenz - US District Court Judge
  • David Roger - D.A., Clark County, Nevada
  • Duane Layton - Partner at Mayer, Brown, Rowe and Maw
  • Garland Burrell - US District Court Judge
  • Lisa Haile - Partner at DLA Piper, Rudnick, Gray, Cary

Associations & Memberships

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