People's College of Law
|Peoples College of Law|
|Motto||Producing Social Justice Lawyers|
|School type||Private, Non-profit Law School|
|Dean||Garo Ghazarian, Esq.|
|Location||Los Angeles, CA, US
|Bar pass rate||40% (5/2) (February 2014 repeat takers)|
The Peoples College of Law (PCL) is an unaccredited, private, non-profit, degree granting law school located just off Wilshire Blvd in the downtown Los Angeles community of Westlake-MacArthur Park. PCL offers a part-time, four-year evening law program centered on work in the public interest.
Aimed at addressing inequities in law and society, PCL was founded in 1974 for individuals historically denied access to legal training and representation. The school maintains a socio-political requirement that states: "An eligible candidate will be able to demonstrate a commitment to progressive social change." PCL uses alternative methods of law school admissions, which does not rely on the LSAT because it is considered culturally biased. Tuition is kept low through the use of volunteer faculty, consisting of working Attorneys, Judges and law professors. Students and members of the PCL community volunteer to maintain the facilities, allowing all students to graduate debt free.
State Bar registration
PCL is registered with the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California as an unaccredited law school and may grant the juris doctor (J.D.) law degree. Its students must take and pass the First-Year Law Students' Examination, also known as the "Baby Bar", at the end of their first year in order to receive credit for their law study and eventually qualify to sit for the California Bar Examination. It is not approved by the American Bar Association.
Bar pass rates
For the years 1997 through 2010, 29 Peoples College graduates have taken the California Bar Examination as first-time takers; of that number, 3 passed the examination for a pass rate of 10%.
The former Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Maria Elena Durazo, former California State Senator of the 22nd District in Los Angeles and current Los Angeles City Council representative, Gilbert Cedillo, commentator for Fox News Channel's Fox News Watch, for MSNBC and CNN, Jeff Cohen, Publisher of the LA Progressive, Sharon Kyle, and Carol Sobel, formerly of the ACLU and currently Ex. VP of the National Lawyers Guild are alumni of PCL.
Noted AIDS activist Ilka Tanya Payán was also a graduate of PCL, became a lawyer in 1981, practiced immigration law and was a New York City Human Rights Commissioner before her death from AIDS. A small park in New York was named in her honor in 1982.
- "General Statistics Report: February 2014 California Bar Examination" (PDF). California State Bar. July 30, 2014.
- PCL General Information
- Committee of Bar Examiners Registered Unaccredited Fixed-facility Law Schools in California 10/4/2010
- "ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year". ABA website. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- State Bar of California Bar Examination Statistics
- "Sharon Kyle". LA Progressive.
- NLG Leadership: Carol Sobel
- California State Bar Member Records
- Navarro, Mireya (December 5, 1993). "Conversations/Ilka Tanya Payan; An Actress Openly Faces AIDS And Receives an Audience's Ovation". The New York Times.
- New York City Department of Parks & Recreation media advisory, "Renaming a Park in Memory of Ilka Tanya Payan: Soap Opera Star, Immigration Lawyer, and AIDS Activist"