Jun 20, 2024  
College Catalog 2014-2015 
College Catalog 2014-2015 ARCHIVED CATALOG

Whittier Law School

Whittier Law School, founded in 1966, and rededicated in 1998 at its present state-of-the-art facility in Costa Mesa, reflects the College’s continuing commitment to academic excellence and individual attention. The degree of Juris Doctor (J.D.) is conferred upon successful completion of the program. The school offers full-time day, part-time day and evening programs to accommodate a variety of student schedules. Students may specialize in and, upon graduation, receive Certificates in Children’s Rights, Intellectual Property, International and Comparative Law, Trial and Appellate Practice and concentrations in Criminal Law and Business Law. The Law School also offers foreign exchange study opportunities with the University of Paris X, the University of Cantabria in Santander, Spain and the University of Seville, Spain. The Law School hosts six summer abroad programs in Toulouse, France, Barcelona, Spain, Santander, Spain, Tel Aviv, Israel, Nanjing, China and Mexico City, Mexico, as well as an LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies for foreign lawyers. The School is fully approved by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

The Whittier tradition stresses concern for individual students’ intellectual and ethical development. This tradition is reflected in admissions practices stressing diversity, a small student-to-faculty ratio (approximately 17:1), small elective classes, and individual student counseling and placement services. Whittier Faculty members recognize that their teaching obligation includes considerable interaction with students. The goal of the Law School is to provide a sound legal education as preparation for careers in law, business, public service, and other fields. Its course of study and instructional policies seek to develop analytical legal reasoning, skill in communications, and a strong foundation in the fundamentals of law. The curriculum emphasizes historical precepts and the changing current of modern law relative to prevailing social needs.

Law Campus

The Whittier Law School occupies an attractive fifteen-acre campus in Costa Mesa that provides a relaxed atmosphere for the law student. The multimillion-dollar facility sits on 130,000 sq. ft. and houses the library, clinic, tiered and seminar classrooms, courtrooms, offices for student organizations, cafeteria, bookstore, and ample study areas. Multimedia interactive classrooms incorporate the most advanced acoustic principles, and wireless access is available throughout the campus.. Costa Mesa, in Coastal Central Orange County is convenient to the state and federal courts and law offices in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

The Program and Its Students

Whittier Law School maintains a program with classes meeting both day and evening, offering full-time and part-time education. Under our 3/3 Program, after three years at Whittier College a student may apply to the Law School. If accepted, the Whittier student would earn a B.A. from the College and a J.D. from the Law School within a six year period. An academic Support Program provides a number of academic support programs for students of varying needs, including a Summer Program for applicants who have overcome significant obstacles in achieving an education, a variety of courses emphasizing study skills and exam-taking skills, individual one-on-one academic counseling, and an Early Bar Preparation program.

The Center for Children’s Rights trains students to provide legal services to children and the Children’s Rights Clinic offers students an opportunity to participate in all aspects of client representation. The Center for Intellectual Property Law offers an I.P. track within the J.D. program as well as a Summer Institute in Intellectual Property, typically offered at one of the abroad locations. The Center for International and Comparative Law prepares students for employment in businesses, law firms and public interest organizations that have an international dimension to their work. Each of the three Centers offers Fellowships, , provide externship opportunities, and host a colloquia series. A fourth specialty program, The Institute for Trial and Appellate Practice, trains students to advocate in a courtroom setting, emphasizing excellence in oral and written communication skills.

The school’s full-time program is composed primarily of students who have recently obtained their undergraduate degrees and whose interest and aptitudes have led them to seek a career in the legal profession. Students attending the part-time program  comprise a variety of age groups, backgrounds, and occupations. In most cases, they are employed on a full-time basis and are seeking to further their position in their present fields or to make a career change.

Among the current students are physicians, nurses, mathematicians, engineers, C.P.A.s, teachers, law enforcements, court clerks, legal secretaries, and people representing a multitude of other occupations from a broad spectrum of the community. There is no specifically required academic background for admission to law school; students are admitted from many fields. Whittier Law School has long made special efforts to provide legal education opportunities for women and members of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

Law School Admission

It has been policy of the Law School from its inception to set admission and scholastic standards at a level consistent with academic excellence. The Admissions Committee undertakes an individual analysis of each potential student to determine whether the combination of factors exists, which the Committee believes to be essential for the successful completion of the study of law. These factors are many and varied. Considerable emphasis is placed on the applicant’s undergraduate record and performance on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). However, the Committee also assesses such factors as intellectual maturity, capacity for self-discipline, and other intangible attributes essential to success in a law program.

For details regarding admission policies and procedures, scholarships and financial aid, tuition and fees, academic calendar and schedule, physical and library resources, student organizations, honors and awards, academic standards and the course of instruction, please contact the Director of Admissions at Whittier Law School, 3333 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626 at info@law.whittier.edu, or contact by phone at 714-444-4141 ext. 123.