Northwestern California University School of Law

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Northwestern California University School of Law
Logo ns nometallic alt.gif
Motto “Quality – Opportunity – Affordability”
Established 1982
School type Private online correspondence law school
Dean Michael P. Clancey
Location Sacramento, CA, US
Coordinates: 38°36′21″N 121°30′44″W / 38.60583°N 121.51222°W / 38.60583; -121.51222
Bar pass rate 36% (5/14) (July 2013 1st time takers)[1]
Website Northwestern California University School of Law

Northwestern California University School of Law is an online correspondence based distance education institution founded in 1982. It is authorized by the California State Bar to award the Juris Doctor Degree upon completion of a California Bar Qualifying Program. It is registered as a law school with the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California.

Online law education[edit]

The school delivers courses entirely through a distance education format. The main teaching medium is the Internet by means of a fully integrated electronic teaching platform with interlaid videoconferencing technology.[2]

Degrees offered[edit]

The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Law (BSL) and Juris Doctor (JD) law degree program, as well as a Paralegal certificate program. Those who are successful in the degree program receive the BSL degree at the end of 2 years and a JD degree at the end of 4. The university has the approval of Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.[citation needed]


The program is registered with the California State Bar as a correspondence law school, which means students to whom the school awards the JD degree are eligible to take the bar examination and become licensed to practice law in California, and indicates that the school meets certain standards of the Bar.

The JD program is not accredited by the California State Bar[3] or American Bar Association, which do not accredit online programs.

Bar pass rates[edit]

For the years 1997 through July 2011, 191 Northwestern California graduates have taken the California Bar Examination as first-time takers; of that number, 50 passed the examination for a pass rate of 26%.[4]

Baby Bar pass rates[edit]

In October 2010, thirty-four students took the California First-Year Law Students’ Examination (the “Baby Bar”) for their first time. Twelve (35%) passed, compared to 23% for first-time takers from all correspondence law schools and 24% for first-time takers from all schools. Thirty took the examination after previously failing it at least once. Three (10%) passed, compared to 8% for repeaters from all correspondence law schools and 16% for repeaters from all schools.[5]

The school’s pass rate on the California First-Year Law Students’ Examination (the “Baby Bar”) has been as high as 47%. This occurred in October 2005 when thirty-two students took the examination for the first time and fifteen passed. The overall average for all first-time takers from all schools on that exam was 32%.[6]


The current Dean of Northwestern California University School of Law is Michael P. Clancey, who is a member of the California Bar.[7] He is a former United States Marine Corps Judge Advocate.[8]


  • James E. Gilleran, ('96) Director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS)[9]
  • Max Hardberger, maritime security specialist and author.
  • Mark Whitacre,[10] President of Archer Daniels Midland’s Bioproducts division who become a whistleblower under U.S. federal whistleblower statutes.[11] The movie The Informant starring Matt Damon[12] was based on Whitacre’s role in the ADM price-fixing case.


  1. ^ "General Statistics Report: July 2013 California Bar Examination" (PDF). State Bar of California. January 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ [1] Northwestern California University School of Law Instructional Methods
  3. ^ [2] State Bar of California Committee of Barr Examiners
  4. ^ State Bar of California Bar Examination Statistics
  5. ^ CalBar Statistics
  6. ^ CalBar Statistics
  7. ^ California State Bar Member Records, Michael Clancey
  8. ^ [3] Faculty
  9. ^ Gilleran sworn in as OTS Director, December 7, 2001
  10. ^ Mark Whitacre Education
  11. ^ Muirhead, S. "Whiteacre paid ultimate price" Feedstuffs: The Weekly Newspaper for Agribusiness Vol. 80, No. 22, June 2, 2008
  12. ^ IMDb The Informant! (2009)

External links[edit]