Chapman University School of Law

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Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law
Chapman University School of Law logo
Parent school Chapman University
Established 1995[1]
School type Private
Parent endowment $266 million
Dean Matthew J. Parlow
Location Orange, California, US
33°47′38″N 117°51′04″W / 33.79389°N 117.85111°W / 33.79389; -117.85111Coordinates: 33°47′38″N 117°51′04″W / 33.79389°N 117.85111°W / 33.79389; -117.85111
Enrollment 508[2] (Full- and part-time)[1]
Faculty 50 full time members of the faculty, 7 professional librarians, and 43 adjunct professors[1][3]
USNWR ranking 136[1]
Bar pass rate 75%[4] (ABA profile)
ABA profile Official ABA profile

Chapman University's Dale E. Fowler School of Law, commonly referred to as Chapman University School of Law or Chapman Law School, is a private, non-profit law school located in Orange, California. The school offers the Juris Doctor degree (JD), combined programs offering a JD/MBA and JD/MFA in Film & Television Producing, and multiple LL.M. degree options. The school also offers emphasis options in Business Law, Criminal Law, Entertainment Law, Environmental Law, International Law, Trial Advocacy, and Taxation. Currently, the school has fifty full-time faculty members [2] and a law library with holdings in excess of 290,000 volumes and volume equivalents.[5]

Accreditation history[edit]

Established in 1995 as part of Chapman University, Chapman Law gained provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association (ABA) in 1998.[6] In 2002, the ABA awarded the school full accreditation.[7][8] In addition to its ABA membership, the Association of American Law Schools has admitted Chapman Law as one of its members in 2006, noting that "the school has an outstanding physical facility and has developed a faculty with a strong commitment to teaching and scholarship." In 2013, the ABA fully accredited the school until 2020.[8]


Chapman University School of Law is currently ranked 136th ("Top Schools" category) in the 2016 US News and World Report's annual law school rankings. [9]

The Princeton Review currently ranks Chapman University School of Law #6 for Best Quality of Life. [10]

Entrance to School of Law
Donald P. Kennedy Hall, home of the School of Law

Bar passage rates[edit]

In November 2015, the first time bar passage rate for Chapman School of Law was 71.2%. The California statewide average was 46.6%. [11]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at the Chapman University School of Law for the 2014-2015 academic year is $75,061.[12] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $279,419.[13]

Post-graduation employment & Average Indebtedness[edit]

Employment Outcomes[edit]

ABA Employment Summary for 2015 Graduates[14]
Employment Status Percentage
Employed - Bar Passage Required
Employed - J.D. Advantage
Employed - Professional Position
Employed - Non-Professional Position
Employed - Undeterminable
Pursuing Graduate Degree Full Time
Unemployed - Start Date Deferred
Unemployed - Not Seeking
Unemployed - Seeking
Employment Status Unknown
Total of 132 Graduates

According to Chapman's official 2016 ABA-required disclosures, 79% of the Class of 2015 obtained bar passaged required, JD-required professional or non professional employment 10 months after graduation.[15]

Student Debt[edit]

According to U.S. News & World Report, the average indebtedness of 2013 graduates who incurred law school debt was $134,073 (not including undergraduate debt), and 85% of 2013 graduates took on debt.[16]

Scholarship Retention[edit]

Chapman, like some other law schools, uses merit based scholarships in order to entice high quality prospective students who might otherwise pass over the school for better ranked competitors and to enhance its own ranking.[17] The fact that fewer than half of all students retain such scholarships has been described as a “bait and switch” and landed the school on The ABA Journal's list of law schools "most likely to yank merit-based scholarships."[18]


The interim dean of Chapman Law is Scott Howe, the Frank L. Williams Professor of Criminal Law and one of the longest tenured faculty members at the Fowler School of Law. Dean Howe replaces former Dean Tom Campbell who concluded his five-year term as dean in February 2016. [19] Incoming Dean Matt Parlow will begin as the new dean of Fowler School of Law July 2016. [20]

ADR and Mediation Clinic[edit]

The Chapman Law Mediation Clinic mediates 700 real cases annually. The Mediation Clinic received the Louise Otis Award for Excellence in Mediation Education at the International Competition for Mediation Advocacy (ICMA, formerly CNMAC) in Toronto by the lead of the international coach professor David P. Dowling. The award was in recognition of a superior commitment to the integration of mediation and advocacy skills into legal education. The ICMA focuses on acknowledging and evaluating mediation advocacy skills that demonstrate commitment to addressing the resolution, prevention, or creative management of clients’ disputes. Chapman Arbitration team was ranked the #2nd internationally.

Nobel Prize[edit]

In 2007, Chapman Law added Dr. Vernon L. Smith, who won the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in experimental economics, to the list of its faculty.[21][22]

Other faculty[edit]

Other members of the Chapman Law faculty include Constitutional law and legal ethics scholar Ronald D. Rotunda.[23] Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, the author of Painting the Map Red, The Fight To Create A Permanent Republican Majority and A Mormon In The White House, 10 Things Every American Should Know About Mitt Romney, is also a Professor of Constitutional Law.

Also notable is Professor Larry Rosenthal, a former Supreme Court clerk for Justice John Paul Stevens, who as Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago argued the case of Chicago v. Morales, 527 U.S. 41 (1999), among other cases, and Professor Danny Bogart, a property law expert and member of the American Law Institute. Visiting Professors have included progressive international law scholar Richard A. Falk,[24] W. H. (Joe) Knight, Jr., a noted scholar and member of the American Law Institute, and controversial law professor and former Bush Administration official John Yoo.

The Honorable James E. Rogan has served as an adjunct professor at Chapman Law for many years. While a member of Congress, Rogan was one of the lead prosecutors in the United States Senate impeachment trial of President Clinton in 1998-1999, and later served as U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and as Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In 2006 Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Rogan to the Superior Court of California.[25]

Chapman Law's faculty includes four former U.S. Supreme Court law clerks,[26] including Professors Rosenthal and Campbell (above), as well as former Dean Eastman, and former Associate Dean Celestine McConville.[27]

John C. Eastman, former Dean of Chapman University of Law and current professor of constitutional law is the Chair of the Board of the National Organization for Marriage, a non-profit organization committed to preventing the legalization of same-sex marriage. Eastman publicly opposed the granting of a law license to Sergio C. Garcia, the first undocumented immigrant to be admitted to the California Bar. Eastman said, "He's here unlawfully. He's not gone back to his home country and sought to apply like everybody else who had waited in line."[28]

Law journals[edit]

Chapman Law has two law publications: the Chapman Law Review,[29] and the Nexus Journal of Law and Policy,[30] a student edited journal with an accompanying blog.[31]


  1. ^ a b c d "Best Law Schools: Chapman University". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b (PDF)  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Chapman University - Law - Rinker Law Library
  6. ^ "ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year". ABA website. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  7. ^ ContractsProf Blog: March 19, 2006 - March 25, 2006
  8. ^ a b AALS aalsnews, February 2006 (page 6)
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Tuition and Fees". 
  13. ^ "Chapman University Profile". 
  14. ^ "Employment Summary for 2015 Graduates". 
  15. ^ "ABA Disclosures". 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Law Students Lose the Grant Game as Schools Win". ABA website. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Little Chapman University Lures Big Name in Economics". The Wall Street Journal. July 26, 2007. 
  22. ^ DeBenedictis, Don J. "Nobel-winning economist to joint Chapman School of Law," Los Angeles Daily Journal, 27 July 2007.
  23. ^ Chapman Faculty -- Ronald Rotunda
  24. ^ Chapman Visiting Faculty -- Richard Falk
  25. ^ Chapman Faculty -- Adjunct
  26. ^ LLM GUIDE - Chapman University School of Law
  27. ^ Wikipedia List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  28. ^ . Reason TV. 11 December 2012 Retrieved 5 July 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ Chapman Law Review
  30. ^ Nexus Journal
  31. ^ Nexus: Chapman's Journal of Law and Public Policy

External links[edit]