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UCLA School of Law

UCLA School of Law
UCLA Seal (Trademark of the Regents of the University of California)
Motto Fiat lux (Latin)
Parent school University of California
Established 1949
School type Public
Parent endowment $2,810,319,000 (June 30, 2013) [1]
Dean Jennifer Mnookin (June 2015)[2]
Location Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Enrollment 1,011[3]
Faculty 116–138[3]
USNWR ranking 16[4]
Bar pass rate 88%[5]
Website .edu.ucla.lawwww
ABA profile [3]

The University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law is the law school of UCLA, located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, United States. Founded in 1949, it is the first public law school in Southern California and the youngest top-ranked law school in the nation.[6] In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked UCLA Law tied at No. 16. The school has been ranked between 15th and 17th since 2009.[7] The school has a student to faculty ratio of 10.4 to 1.[8] Its Class of 2013 had a bar passage rate of 88 percent, the second highest in California behind Stanford Law.[9][10]


  • History 1
  • Degrees and areas of specialization 2
  • Faculty and students 3
  • Location 4
  • Rankings 5
    • Bar passage rates 5.1
    • Post-Graduation employment 5.2
  • Specialized centers and institutes 6
    • Institute for Business Law and Policy 6.1
    • Center on Climate Change and The Environment 6.2
    • Critical Race Studies Program 6.3
    • International Human Rights Program 6.4
    • Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy 6.5
    • Ziman Center Real Estate law 6.6
    • Program in Public Interest Law and Policy 6.7
  • Journals and student organizations 7
    • Journals and law reviews 7.1
    • Student organizations 7.2
  • Notable people 8
    • Alumni 8.1
      • Academia 8.1.1
      • Business and private practice 8.1.2
      • Government and politics 8.1.3
      • Judiciary 8.1.4
      • Entertainment 8.1.5
      • Other 8.1.6
    • Faculty 8.2
      • Current 8.2.1
      • Former 8.2.2
  • References 9
  • External links 10


The Hugh and Hazel Darling Law Library, UCLA School of Law

Founded in 1949, UCLA School of Law is currently one of five law schools within the University of California system. The others are UC Berkeley School of Law, King Hall at UC Davis, UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, and UC Irvine School of Law.

UCLA Law's first dean was L. Dale Coffman, who recruited elderly Harvard dean Roscoe Pound as one of the school's first professors.[11] The school was forced to operate in a Quonset hut for its first two years until a proper building was constructed. In September 1949, Pound insisted on delivering the school's first ever keynote address in the Latin language, in the Quonset hut.[12]

The UCLA Law Review, the law school's flagship scholarly journal, was first published in 1953. From 1971 to 1983, UCLA School of Law published the Alaska Law Review, a publication dedicated to the legal issues that pertain to Alaskans.[13] Additionally, the first scholarly journal in the nation focused on issues affecting Latinos, the Chicana/o Latina/o Law Review, was first published in 1972 as the Chicano Law Review.[14]

Degrees and areas of specialization

The school offers the standard Juris Doctor degree as well as several programs of specialization within the degree (which are indicated by notations on a student's diploma). Students can specialize in Business Law and Policy, Entertainment Law, Public Interest Law, Critical Race Studies, and Law and Philosophy. The roughly 300 students who begin Law School at UCLA every year are divided into sections in order to encourage a sense of community. Students take all of their first year courses with their sections.[15]

The Socratic method is still in use by most professors, but some faculty allow for a slightly more relaxed classroom atmosphere than at other top-tier law schools.[16] The school also has traditionally offered a strong clinical program, which is housed in its own wing (built at a cost of $9 million).[17] Each year, the clinical program puts students through realistic simulations of trials, depositions, and client meetings; these are staffed with a pool of nearly 500 volunteers drawn from all over the Southland who play parties, witnesses, judges, and jurors.[18]

Several joint degree programs are available, requiring four years of study, and resulting in the simultaneous award of a Juris Doctor and a master's degree in one of the following areas: Afro-American Studies, American Indian Studies, Law and Management, Public Health, Public Policy, Social Welfare, or Urban Planning.[19]

The school also offers a Master of Laws (LL.M.) law program, which involves one year of post-law-graduate studies. This program is popular among foreign students, who then take the California bar exam.

Finally, it offers a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree, designed for students who already have a J.D. and hope to become law professors.[20]

Faculty and students

UCLA School of Law has over 100 faculty members with expertise in all major disciplines of law; it "is one of the most diverse in the country."[16]

For the class entering in the fall of 2013, 1,567 out of 5,563 applicants were offered admission (28.2%), with 293 matriculating. The 25th and 75th LSAT percentiles for the 2013 entering class were 162 and 169, respectively, with a median of 167. The 25th and 75th undergraduate GPA percentiles were 3.51 and 3.88, respectively, with a median of 3.79.[21]

Diversity Class of 2017[6]
  • 138 Undergraduate schools represented
  • 49.4% Female; 50.6% Male
  • 34% Students of Color
  • 61% California Residents; 39% Non-residents

The school sponsors a chapter of the Order of the Coif, a national law school honorary society founded for the purposes of encouraging legal scholarship and advancing the ethical standards of the legal profession.[22]


The School of Law's south entrance facing Charles E. Young Drive East

UCLA School of Law is located on the northeastern edge of the UCLA campus in the Westwood area of Los Angeles.[23] The school is approximately five miles from the Pacific Ocean.

The school proper is housed in a five-story brick building known simply as the Law Building. The oldest parts of the Law Building's interior are notorious for a "high school atmosphere" and "dark, drafty classrooms,"[24] but have been extensively improved by the addition of the clinical wing in 1990 and the new law library in 2001. A few offices, like the Office of Career Services, are housed in an adjacent building, Dodd Hall.

The campus sits on the sloping foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, between the communities of Brentwood to the west and Holmby Hills to the east. The entrance to the Playboy Mansion is a short way up Sunset Boulevard, in Holmby Hills. Just beyond Holmby Hills is Beverly Hills.


In 2014 US News & World Report ranked UCLA as 16th of U.S. law schools.[4] In 2010, it had the largest student body in the UC system after Hastings, and the smallest student-faculty ratio.[25] UCLA Law has a student-faculty ratio of 10.4:1.[8] Also it was the second least expensive law school in the UC system, Hastings being the cheapest.[25]

According to Brian Leiter's Law School rankings, UCLA Law ranks 8th in the nation in terms of scholarly impact as measured by academic citations of tenure-stream faculty during the years 2009–2013.[26]

The Hollywood Reporter ranked UCLA the number one school for entertainment law in 2012 and 2014.[27][28]

Bar passage rates

Based on a 2001–2007 6 year average, 88% of UCLA Law graduates passed the California State Bar.[29]

Post-Graduation employment

American Bar Association data shows that 273 of 332 (82%) of 2013 graduates had secured full-time, long-term, JD-required employment within nine months of graduation. A total of 108 graduates (32.5%) had found employment in firms of more than 100 lawyers, and 23 graduates (6.9%) had secured federal judicial clerkships.[30]

Specialized centers and institutes

Institute for Business Law and Policy

In 2011, the business law and policy program established the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy with a 10 million dollar gift from alumnus Lowell Milken.[31] The institute focuses on research in business law and policy in bankruptcy, corporate law, corporate governance, intellectual property, international business transactions, real estate, securities regulation and tax.[32]

Center on Climate Change and The Environment

Founded in 2008 with a gift from Dan A. Emmett and his family, the Center was the first law school center established to focus on climate change. The Emmett Center curriculum details law and policy solutions to the climate change crisis locally, statewide, nationally and internationally.[33]

Critical Race Studies Program

Founded in 2000, the program, which hosts many legal scholars, studies the intersection of race and law.[34][35][36][37][38]

International Human Rights Program

The International Human Rights Program "engages in research, advocacy and public education to advance the norms of international human rights law."[39]

Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy

The Williams Institute was founded in 2001 through a grant by Charles R. "Chuck" Williams.[40][41] Williams's inaugural donation of $2.5 million to create the institute was the largest donation ever given to any academic institution in support of a gay and lesbian academic program in any discipline.[42] In 2013, Williams donated an additional $5.5 million to support the institute.[40]

Ziman Center Real Estate law

In 2001, the UCLA Law School real estate program was named in honor of Richard Ziman, who established a permanent endowment. In 2005, the Ziman center was reconstituted as a campus-wide center of both UCLA Anderson School of Management and UCLA School of Law.[43]

Program in Public Interest Law and Policy

In Spring 1996, in response to the need for better trained public interest lawyers, the UCLA School of Law established the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. In 2000, the Program graduated its inaugural class of students.[44]

Journals and student organizations

Journals and law reviews

  • UCLA Law Review
  • UCLA Asian/Pacific American Law Journal
  • UCLA Chicano/Latino Law Review
  • UCLA Entertainment Law Review
  • UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy
  • UCLA Journal of International Law & Foreign Affairs
  • UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law
  • UCLA Journal of Law & Technology
  • UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal
  • UCLA Women’s Law Journal
  • National Black Law Journal

Student organizations

  • Moot Court Honors Program
  • Muslim Law Students Association
  • UCLA OUTlaws

Notable people



Business and private practice

Government and politics








  1. ^ [4] Chief Investment Officer of The Regents Retrieved August 30, 2014 (As of June 30, 2013. Of this amount, $1,275,013,000 is designated to the UC Regents for the benefit of the campus and $1,535,306,000 is held by the campus Foundation.)
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b ABA Law School Data
  4. ^ a b "Best Law Schools: University of California – Los Angeles".  
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Dan Gordon, "History of UCLA School of Law: A History of Innovation," UCLA Law Magazine, Spring 2004, 10.
  12. ^ William Warren, "50th Anniversary of UCLA School of Law," UCLA Law Magazine, Spring–Summer 2000, 55.
  13. ^ Asta Corley (March 26, 2001), "Law review is one more thing setting Alaska apart",  
  14. ^
  15. ^ Cynthia L. Cooper, The Insider's Guide to the Top Fifteen Law Schools (New York: Doubleday, 1990), 343 & 345.
  16. ^ a b Cooper, 345.
  17. ^ Cooper, 352–353.
  18. ^ Carol Bidwell, "Trial By Hire: Volunteers Put L.A. Students On The Spot," Los Angeles Daily News, 6 December 1998, L8.
  19. ^ "Joint Degree Programs". UCLA Law School website. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Degree Programs". UCLA Law School Website. Retrieved August 31, 2010. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ Order of the Coif member schools
  23. ^ Cooper, 359.
  24. ^ Cooper, 358–359.
  25. ^ a b "Best Law Schools School Comparison".  
  26. ^
  27. ^ Belloni, Matthew (July 20, 2012). "America's Top Ten Entertainment Law Schools". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  28. ^ Kirby, Brandon (April 30, 2014). "Power Lawyers 2014: The Top 12 Entertainment Law Schools for Hollywood". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  29. ^ "Internet Legal Research Group: University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 2009 profile". Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ | Los Angeles Times | August 9th, 2011
  32. ^ UCLA Law
  33. ^ UCLA Law
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ a b "UCLA Law Receives $5.5 Million Gift to Support Growth and Leadership of the Williams Institute". (Press release). UCLA School of Law. July 9, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2015. 
  41. ^ "Mission". Williams Institute. Retrieved June 27, 2015. 
  42. ^ Staff (undated). "Mission". Williams Institute. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  43. ^ UCLA Law
  44. ^ UCLA Law
  45. ^ "#251 David P Steiner". Forbes. April 28, 2010. 
  46. ^ Peter B. Carlisle, National District Attorneys Association. Accessed December 3, 2007.
  47. ^ UCLA International Institute

External links

  • UCLA School of Law

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