Whittier Law School
|Whittier Law School|
|Motto||In Service of Justice and Enterprise|
|Parent school||Whittier College|
|Location||Costa Mesa, California, United States|
|Enrollment||642 (Full- and part-time)|
|USNWR ranking||Rank not published|
|Bar pass rate||43% (July 2014)|
|ABA profile||LSAC link: Whittier Law School|
Whittier Law School is a law school in Costa Mesa, California. Founded in 1966, it is a fully accredited ABA law school in Orange County, California. A private university, it is part of Whittier College.
- 1 History
- 2 Academics
- 3 Publications
- 4 Programs
- 5 Bar passage rates
- 6 Costs
- 7 Employment Status
- 8 Noted people
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The Law School was originally founded as the Beverly College of Law in 1966, and located in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles’s Westside. It was a private, nonprofit educational institution intended to meet the growing need for a law school in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
In 1974, the Whittier College Board of Trustees voted to merge the Beverly College of Law into Whittier College. In 1975, the Law School became known as the Whittier College School of Law and later as Whittier Law School.In response to a significant gift to the Law School, the Hancock Park building was dedicated as the Ross McCollum Law Center during a ceremony at which Supreme Court Associate Justice Byron R. White presented the major address.
During the 1990s, the Law School, along with leaders at Whittier College, decided to relocate the campus to Orange County in order to satisfy space needs and in response to requests by the community for an ABA law school in Orange County. In 1996, the College acquired the present 14-acre campus in Costa Mesa, remodeled the buildings on the site to accommodate the needs of the Law School, and moved the faculty and students over a period of three years. In 1997, the move was completed and Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy gave the major address at the opening ceremony.
Whittier Law School offers both full and part-time day and evening J.D. programs. The full-time program takes three years to complete, while the part-time program takes four years to complete. Whittier also offers an LL.M. program.
In 1978, the American Bar Association (ABA) granted Whittier Law School provisional accreditation. In 1985, Whittier Law School was fully accredited by the ABA and in 1987 it became a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).
On August 9, 2005, the ABA, concerned about Whittier Law School's low bar passage rates, placed the law school's accreditation on probationary status for two years. On August 10, 2007, the ABA extended the probation until February 15, 2009. Under the ABA's rules, the law school remained fully accredited during the probation period, and all students who entered and graduated during this period are deemed to have graduated from an ABA accredited law school.
During probation, the ABA conducted several inspections designed to measure the school's efforts to comply with bar passage standards. The law school has taken several steps aimed at preparing its students for the bar examination, including implementing an early bar preparation program; requiring all students to take two graded, semester-long courses on the essay and performance test sections of the bar examination; and offering a summer-long assistance program designed to operate in conjunction with commercial bar preparation courses. As a result, Dean Cogan stated:
Because our bar passage rates in 2003-07, the pertinent five-year period under the new rule, are well in compliance, we have requested to be removed from probation. The ABA Accreditation Committee will consider that request on April 17–19 , and the ABA Council will review the Accreditation Committee’s recommendation on June 6–8 . I expect that after those meetings, the ABA will remove the Law School’s probationary status.
On April 17, 2008, the ABA Accreditation Committee recommended to the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar that Whittier Law School be removed from probation. Dean Cogan reported:
The Law School requested this action on February 14, 2008, because the bar passage rates of our graduates for the five-year period, 2003-07, show compliance with the ABA bar passage rule, Interpretation 301-6. We fully expect that the Council will accept the Committee’s recommendation at its meeting on June 6 and remove the Law School from its probationary status.
On June 7, 2008, the ABA officially removed Whittier Law School from its probationary status. According to Dean Cogan:
On Saturday, June 7, 2008, the Council of the ABA Section on Legal Education & Admissions to the Bar accepted its Accreditation Committee's finding that the Law School is in full compliance with Section 301(a) of the Standards for Approval of Law Schools and Interpretation 301-6(A)(1)(b). In addition, the Council accepted the Committee's conclusion that the Law School satisfied all conditions of its probation.
According to the ABA Section on Legal Education & Admissions to the Bar, Section 301-6(a)(1)(b) states that graduating law students within the last five calendar years must pass a state bar examination at a minimum of 75% in at least three of the five calendar years.
Whittier has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as an ethnically diverse law school. The law school's academic ranking is listed as "not published" by the U.S. News and World Report. In 2010, The Princeton Review featured Whittier Law School in its 2011 Edition of "The 172 Best Law Schools", highlighting the school's emphasis on small class sizes, an active study body, and practical externship opportunities in intellectual property, criminal, family, business law.
On March 22, 2012 U.S. News & World Report included Whittier Law School in its list of "10 Law Schools That Lead to the Most Debt.". According to the same article, the average indebtedness of Whittier Law School graduates is $138,961.
Whitter was listed as "B-" in the January 2011 "Best Public Interest Law Schools" listing by The National Jurist: The Magazine for Law Students.
For Class 2013:
- Number of Applications: 2,165
- Number of Students Enrolled: 303
- Number of non-white students: 134
- Median Range of LSAT: 150-154
- Median Range of GPA: 2.75-3.28
- Median Age: 27
For Class 2016:
- Number of Applications: 1,579
- Number of Students Enrolled: 221
- Number of non-white students: 116
- Median Range of LSAT: 145-152
- Median Range of GPA: 2.61-3.26
- Median Age: 25
Class of 2013
- Full-time: 67.97%
(256 students matriculated in 2010, 174 students graduated in 2013)
- Part-time: 49.18%
(61 students matriculated in 2009, 30 students graduated in 2013)
The full-time tuition for the 2014-2015 school year was $42,400.
Whittier students’ average debt is $154,267 for 2013 grads. For 2011 it was the 11th highest of 201 ABA accredited law schools. Of 2013 grads who were employed (approximately half were unemployed) nine months after graduation they had a median starting salary of $62,400.  The debt-to-income ratio limit for a mortgage with the Fair Housing Administration is 31. Thus a person with $50,000/annual income could not borrow with an FHA loan to buy a $154,267 house. Whereas students are speculating by borrowing the same amount to get an education.
On income of $50,000 and with an income contingent repayment plan with the federal government the monthly payments would start at $652.83 and end at $1,655.22 in 25 years.
According to a ranking conducted by the Washington & Lee Law School, the Whittier Law Review is ranked 109th out of 192 law reviews evaluated. According to a ranking of law reviews on the basis of the prominence of the lead article authors, conducted in 2007 by two professors at the Shepard Broad Law Center, the Whittier Law Review was ranked 121st out of 171 law reviews evaluated. The Law Review is a student-run organization publishing a collection of articles of legal scholarship four times annually. The Law Review is currently in its thirty-sixth year of publication.
Whittier Law School has centers in Children’s Rights, Intellectual Property Law, and International and Comparative Law. These centers host fellows, offer externships, and sponsor symposia and workshops. The law school also offers concentrations in Criminal Law, Business Law, and Environmental Law for students who wish to take additional, specialized courses in those areas.
Whittier Law School offers students the opportunity to study abroad. For summer 2015, the law school is offering summer programs accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) in China, Israel, and Spain.
Bar passage rates
In February 2012 Whittier Law School recorded a First Time Pass rate of 70.2%.
Whittier Law School recorded the following bar exam First Time Passage Rates --
|Whittier Law||All CA ABA Accredited|
The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Whittier Law School for the 2013-2014 academic year is $72,780. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $261,501.
Legal Employment Prospects of Matriculating Students
According to Whittier's consumer information page and class of 2013 Employment status as reported to the ABA, of the 317 entering students only 210 students graduated and were awarded a degree by Whittier. Of the entering Class 2013 (maltriculated in 2010 as full-time and 2009 as part-time) only 64.3% graduated with a degree from Whittier, however excluding transfers (29 students transferred) 72.9% of the entering class graduated from Whittier. Otherwise of the 2013 Class 46 students were academically disqualified involuntarily and 13 voluntarily withdrew.
Accordingly for the 2013 class, excluding transfers of 29 students, only 210 of 288 students graduated, meaning an employment rate in full-time long term jobs requiring bar passage (e.g. attorney)who were practicing law 9 months after graduation of the 2013 entering class was only 19.44%. Meaning, disregarding transfers, of the Class 2013 approximately only 1 out of 5 students who entered Whittier would graduate and become a lawyer in a full-time long term position within 9 months of graduation.
Employment Status of Graduates
According to Class of 2013 employment status as reported to the ABA, only 26.6% of graduates were in full-time, long term positions requiring bar admission (i.e., jobs as lawyers), 9 months after graduation, ranking 188th out of 201 law schools. Of the jobs as lawyers; 23.9% reported working in law firms; 1.9% in government; 0.4% in both federal clerkship and public interest.
Of graduates, 85 students, (40.9%) reported themselves as "unemployed-seeking" 9 months after graduation. The same number, 85 students of the 2013 graduating class also did not pass the California bar exam.
Of those in Class 2013 who did graduate and pass the bar and become licensed (126 students); 69 of them (54.7%) were practicing law 9 months after graduation and only 54 (44.8%) were able to find full-time long term employment as lawyers (2 reported full-time and short-term). No one reported being a solo practitioner.
Within the 2013 graduating class not "bar passage required" (practicing law as an attorney) or "JD advantage" type of job, 30 were employed "professionally" or in a "non-professional" position 9 months after graduation. The same number of students also graduated from the part-time program.
- Raphael Lapin, Adjunct Professor, author, and founder of Lapin Negotiation Strategies
- I. Nelson Rose, Full Professor with Tenure, author of Gambling and the Law
- Florence-Marie Cooper (1975): Judge, United States District Court for the Central District of California
- Mablean Ephriam (1978): Host, Divorce Court
- Cristina Pérez (1994): Judge, Corte de Familia; Judge, Cristina's Court
Law firm partners
- Harry Scolinos (1974): Scolinos, Sheldon & Nevell
Other appointments and vocations
- Carol Ann Abrams: Television and film producer. Graduated first in her class at Whittier.
- Bill Handel (1979): Morning drive talk show host on KFI-AM in Los Angeles
- Paul D. Irving: Sergeant at Arms of the United States House of Representatives
- Christine N. Jones (1997): Candidate, Arizona gubernatorial election, 2014, Former Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary Go Daddy.
- Diane Tebelius (1979): Chairman, Washington State Republican Party (2006–2007); Candidate, Washington's 8th congressional district, 2004
- "U.S. News & World Report, "Best Law Schools: Whittier College"". Retrieved April 14, 2011.
- WLS Foundation[dead link]
- Whittier Law School Site Change
- Whittier Law School J.D. Program[dead link]
- "ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year". ABA website. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- WLS Accreditation[dead link]
- AALS Member Schools
- Whittier Law School Accreditation[dead link]
- Whittier Law School News and Announcements[dead link]
- Dean's Letter to Community[dead link]
- Dean's Letter to Community
- ABA Accreditation Standards
- USNWR Law School Rankings
- USNWR Law School Rankings
- Whittier Law School, quoting Princeton Review, Best 172 Law Schools: 2011 Edition quotes
- Weyenberg, Michelle (January 2011). "Best Law Schools for Public Interest". The National Jurist (San Diego, California: Cypress Magazines) 20 (4): 24–28
- Whittier Law Review Official Webpage
- Whittier Journal of Child and Family Advocacy Official Webpage
- Zealous Advocate Online Student Publication
- Washington & Lee Law School Law Journals Rankings
- Ranking Law Reviewing by Author Prominence - Ten Years Later
- Whittier Law Review
- Summer Abroad Programs
- The San Francisco Chronicle http://www.sfgate.com/business/prweb/article/Over-70-of-Whittier-Law-School-Graduates-Pass-4077035.php. Missing or empty
- "Tuition and Aid".
- "Whittier Profile".
- Retrieved on May 18, 2014 https://www.law.whittier.edu/index/experience/consumer-information/#da
- "Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates".
- Rosin, Gary. "Full Rankings: Bar Admission Required, Full-Time, Long Term", The Faculty Lounge, March 30, 2013. Retrieved on May 18, 2014, http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/04/a-cleaner-ranking-of-schools-long-term-full-time-employment-minus-law-school-funded-jobs.html -- For the latest Employment Summary Reports from the American Bar Association, Section of Legal Education, see http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/
- "Carol Ann Abrams dies, Producer, author was mother of J.J. Abrams". Variety Magazine. 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- SBA Records
- "Christine Jones '97 Runs for Governor of Arizona". https://www.law.whittier.edu/resources/news/December2013/feature.html. law.whittier.edu.