California Western School of Law



California Western School of Law is committed to using the law to solve human and societal problems. Our mission is to train ethical, competent and compassionate lawyers, representative of our diverse society, who can use the law effectively and creatively.

We recognize that, in the 21st century, the rapid rate of change will accelerate and create further problems. We also recognize the pervasive perception, and partial reality, that the legal system and lawyers have helped to create, rather than solve, the problems our evolving society confronts.

While continuing to graduate lawyers well-equipped to practice law, we also seek to graduate creative problem solvers committed to the improvement of our legal system and society. Our graduates will not merely react to problems but will anticipate them and be ready to devise innovative and responsible solutions to serve the needs of their clients and the broader community.

Further, by contributing to legal scholarship, participating in public deliberations about legal matters and serving as a community legal education resource, California Western School of Law will make significant, measurable contributions to the solution of problems in our community, our society, and our world.

Fast Facts

  • San Diego’s oldest law school, established in 1924
  • Independent, with the flexibility to adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of the profession
  • Focused on preparing graduates for success on the bar exam and in practice
  • 7 clinics where students represent actual clients in criminal, immigration, trademark, legal aid, and internet law
  • More than 40 simulation and experiential courses offer hands-on learning
  • Financially stable, with no deferred maintenance and more than $100 million in assets
  • Located at the heart of San Diego’s legal and political community
  • Approximately 650 JD students

Degrees Offered

  • Juris Doctor
  • Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration (with SDSU)
  • Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work (with SDSU)
  • LLM in Trial Advocacy Specializing in Federal Criminal Law
  • MCL/LLM for Foreign Law Graduates

Accomplishments and Accolades

  • Clinical education program cited by Chronicle of Higher Education and ABA Journal
  • California Innocence Project helped free eight wrongly convicted people from prison since 2000, including Brian Banks, the aspiring NFL star featured on “60 Minutes”
  • President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, 2009-2014 Numerous other awards recognizing commitment to pro bono service

Student and Alumni Achievement

  • More than 130 members of the judiciary in California and elsewhere
  • Leaders in government, education, and business, including the California State Assembly, Clark County (Nev.) District Attorney, and more
  • Successful client advocates in the private and public sector
  • First-time bar passage rates exceeding the statewide average for graduates of ABA-approved law schools on 13 of the past 15 exams
  • Student writing cited by the US Supreme Court, published by national law journals

Faculty Recognition

  • Leaders of national and international legal organizations including the American Law Institute, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and the American Branch of the International Law Association
  • Internationally recognized experts in areas including international law, gender, and the law, and legal ethics


San Diego

225 Cedar Street
92101 San Diego, California, USA

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