Chapman University School of Law

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Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law
Chapman University School of Law logo
Parent schoolChapman University
School typePrivate
Parent endowment$266 million
DeanMatthew J. Parlow
LocationOrange, 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
Enrollment479 (full- and part-time)[1]
Faculty74 full-and part-time members of the faculty and 7 professional librarians[2][3]
USNWR ranking111th (2020)[2]
Bar pass rate59%[4]
ABA profileOfficial 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 74 full- and part-time faculty members[3] 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] and received full ABA accreditation in 2002.[7][8] In addition to its ABA membership, the Association of American Law Schools admitted Chapman Law as one of its members in 2006.[8] In 2019, the ABA again fully accredited the school until 2027, the standard seven-year accreditation term.[9]


Chapman University School of Law is currently ranked 111th by the U.S. News & World Report's annual law school rankings.[10]

It is currently ranked 48th for Best Part-Time Law Programs by the U.S. News & World Report's annual law school rankings.[11]

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

Bar passage rate[edit]

In July 2019, the first-time bar passage rate for Chapman School of Law was 59%.[12] The overall first-time pass rate for ABA-accredited California law schools was 71%.[13]

Costs and average student indebtedness[edit]

The cost of tuition for full-time JD students at Chapman for the 2016–2017 academic year is $50,076, which does not include living expenses and fees.[14] According to U.S. News & World Report, the cost of such living expenses is approximately $16,848 per year.[15] Accordingly, of 2018 graduates, 74% incurred debt to attend Chapman, with an average indebtedness of $144,718.[16]

Post-graduation employment[edit]

According to Chapman's official 2018 ABA-required disclosures, 58% of the Class of 2017 obtained bar passage required employment 10 months or less after graduation, 16% were employed in JD advantage jobs where bar passage was a desired qualification, but not required, and 20% reported they were unemployed.[17]


Chapman, like some other law schools, uses merit based scholarships in order to entice competitive students who might otherwise pass over the school for higher ranked competitors and to enhance its own ranking.[18][19]


Matthew J. Parlow[20] is the Dean and Donald P. Kennedy Chair in Law at the school. He joined Chapman as dean in July 2016 after serving as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School. He previously taught at Chapman from 2005–2008.[21] He succeeded Tom Campbell, Dean from 2011-2016.

Notable faculty[edit]

Law journals[edit]

Chapman's Fowler School of Law publishes the Chapman Law Review, a student-run scholarly journal.[27] In addition to publishing the scholarly journal, the Chapman Law Review hosts a symposium at the start of the spring semester each year.[28]


  1. ^ (PDF) Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b "Chapman University (Fowler)". U.S. News & World Report – Best Law Schools. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ (PDF) 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)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
  9. ^ (PDF) Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Tuition and Fees".
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Faculty Profile". Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  21. ^ "Chapman University Community Gathers to Welcome Dean Matt Parlow". Fowler School of Law. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  22. ^ "Faculty Profile". Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  23. ^ "Faculty Profile". Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  24. ^ "Fowler School of Law Professor Hugh Hewitt to Join Final 2015 Republican Presidential Debate as Co-Panelist on CNN". Fowler School of Law. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  25. ^ Chapman Faculty -- Ronald Rotunda
  26. ^ "Little Chapman University Lures Big Name in Economics". Wall Street Journal. July 26, 2007. Retrieved Dec 10, 2017.
  27. ^ Chapman Law Review
  28. ^ "Annual Symposium". Retrieved 2017-03-20.

External links[edit]