Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law

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The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law is a regionally-accredited non-profit law school located in Santa Barbara and Ventura, California.

Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law
Logo of Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law
Established 1969
School type Private, Not-for-Profit
Dean Jackie Gardina
Location Santa Barbara and Ventura, CA, US
Enrollment 200
Faculty 38
Bar pass rate 6% (1/16) (Santa Barbara)
10% (3/29) (Ventura)
(Jul 2015)[1]

History and Mission[edit]

The Ventura campus was founded in 1969 and the Santa Barbara campus was added in 1975. As of 2007, The Colleges have over 1,600 alumni.[2]

The mission of The Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law (COL) is to prepare leaders, for law and law-related professions, through graduate-level legal education that emphasizes academic excellence and accessibility. The Colleges seek to develop well-prepared graduates capable of integrating knowledge of legal theory, practical skills, and professional values.[1]

The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law (COL) announced the appointment of Jackie Gardina as its new Dean and Chief Academic Officer. Gardina was selected after an extensive national search and will assume her post on July 1, 2016. She succeeds Heather Georgakis, who served COL for three decades, including 15 years as Dean.[3]


The Colleges of Law is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Additionally, the Juris Doctor program has been accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California for more than 30 years. This accreditation applies to both campuses (Santa Barbara and Ventura). Neither campus is accredited by the American Bar Association.


Juris Doctor[edit]

Juris Doctor graduates of the colleges are eligible to take the California State Bar Examination. For more than 30 years, the Juris Doctor program has been accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners [4] of the State Bar of California. In keeping with its mission to offer legal education that emphasizes both academic excellence and accessibility, The Colleges of Law has not sought accreditation from the American Bar Association (ABA).[5]

The Juris Doctor program is a part-time evening curriculum with classes generally held on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays in Santa Barbara and on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in Ventura. The academic calendar consists of two 15-week semesters and a 10-week summer term. Typically, students complete the program within three to four years.[6]

The average class size is approximately 25 students.

Master of Legal Studies[edit]

In 2012, The Colleges of Law added a Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) degree to their course offerings. This program is available to students online, with an option to complete a campus residency. Upon entering the program, students choose between two concentrations: Frontiers in Law or Regulatory Compliance and Legal Risk Management. The M.L.S. degree can be completed in 18 months.[7]

Notable alumni[edit]

Superior Court judges[edit]


District attorneys and public defenders[edit]

  • Mark Arnold, Public Defender, Kern County
  • Lisa Bertolino-Mueting, Public Defender, Tulare County
  • Joyce Dudley, District Attorney, Santa Barbara County
  • Christie Stanley, District Attorney, Santa Barbara County

State Bar of California: President's Pro Bono Service Award Recipients[edit]

  • Laura Bartels (Class of 2001)
  • Debora Vierra (Class of 2001)
  • Verna Kagan (Class of 2002)
  • Carolyn Tulberg (Class of 2002)
  • Pauline Zebker (Class of 2002)
  • Michael Ford (Small Law Firm) (Class of 2003)
  • Gabriella Navarro-Busch (Class of 2004)
  • Susan Ratzkin (Small Law Firm) (Class of 2005)
  • DarAnn Dearing (Government) (Class of 2007)
  • Kim Shean (Government) (Class of 2008)
  • Deborah Jurgensen (Solo Practitioner) (Class of 2010)

Elected officials[edit]

  • Naomi Schwartz, County Board of Supervisors, Santa Barbara County (deceased)
  • JoAnn Johnson, Commissioner, Ventura County
  • William Redmond, Commissioner, Ventura County


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°25′28″N 119°42′18″W / 34.42458°N 119.70505°W / 34.42458; -119.70505