UC Davis School of Law

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University of California, Davis
School of Law
MottoFiat lux (Latin)
Parent schoolUniversity of California
School typePublic
Parent endowment$956 million (2014)[2]
DeanKevin Johnson
LocationDavis, California, U.S.
38°32′09″N 121°44′57″W / 38.53583°N 121.74917°W / 38.53583; -121.74917Coordinates: 38°32′09″N 121°44′57″W / 38.53583°N 121.74917°W / 38.53583; -121.74917
USNWR ranking37th (2023)[1]
Bar pass rate84% (July 2019 1st time takers)[3]
ABA profileUC Davis Profile

The University of California, Davis School of Law (Martin Luther King Jr. Hall), referred to as UC Davis School of Law and commonly known as King Hall, is the professional graduate law school of the University of California, Davis. The school received ABA approval in 1968.[4] It joined the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in 1968.[5]

UC Davis School of Law is the smallest of the five law schools in the University of California system, with a total enrollment of under 600 students. The school is located in a building named for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and commonly referred to as King Hall.[6]

Rankings and academics[edit]

Mabie Law Library

In 2016, US News & World Report ranked UC Davis 30th among all law schools in the United States.[1]

For diversity among the five law schools in the UC system, UC Davis was named the second-most diverse after UC Hastings by US News & World Report.[7] Princeton Review placed UC Davis Law tenth in the nation for faculty diversity in the 2009 version of its annual law ranking. It is listed as an "A−" in the March 2011 "Diversity Honor Roll" by The National Jurist: The Magazine for Law Students.[8]

It is listed as an "A" (#16) in the January 2011 "Best Public Interest Law Schools" ratings by The National Jurist: The Magazine for Law Students.[9]

UC Davis Law has the smallest student body of the UC law schools. It has a slightly higher student/faculty ratio than UCLA or Berkeley.[10]

UC Davis has been ranked as the fifth most-expensive public law school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.[11] It is also ranked first for providing the most financial aid.[11]

Main Entrance to King Hall

UC Davis grants the second-most in financial aid in the country.[12][13][14] UC Davis Law's King Hall Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP), founded in 1990 to help alumni working in relatively low-income public-service law careers to repay student loans, was the first loan repayment assistance program established at any UC law school.[15]

According to Brian Leiter's Law School rankings, Davis ranks 23rd in the nation for scholarly impact as measured by total academic citations of tenure-stream faculty.[16]

Bar passage rates[edit]

Based on a 2001-2007 6 year average, 79.4% of UC Davis Law graduates passed the California State Bar exam.[17] In 2009, 89% of first-time test takers passed the California bar.[18]

For July 2012, 78.9% of first-time test takers passed the California bar exam.[19] For July 2013, 85.0% of first-time test takers passed the California Bar Exam.[20]

For July 2014, 86% of first-time test takers passed the California bar exam.[21]


According to King Hall's official 2019 ABA-required disclosures, 85% of the Class of 2019 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[22] King Hall's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 6.5%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2019 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[23]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at King Hall for the 2013–2014 academic year is $68,346 for California residents and $80,591 for non-residents.[24] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $265,806 for residents.[25]


The law school completed a $30 million expansion project in 2011. The project has added an additional wing to the law school's current building, increasing assignable space by nearly 30 percent to provide for additional classrooms, offices, and a new courtroom, named the Paul and Lydia Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom in honor of a $1 million gift to the project from the Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation. The courtroom is used by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, California Supreme Court, and California Court of Appeal[citation needed].

2010 Fire[edit]

Early in the morning on April 29, 2010 a coffee kiosk called Cargo Coffee located in what was then the law school's primary courtyard burned to the ground, filling the surrounding air with smoke and noxious fumes. (Source: https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/cargo-coffee-kiosk-burns-down-outside-king-hall ). Authorities referred to the fire as "suspicious" and investigated the possibility of arson. (Sources: https://theaggie.org/2010/04/30/suspicious-fire-burns-down-coffee-kiosk-by-king-hall/ | https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/coffee-hut-fire-being-treated-arson ). Authorities have never suggested, nor does any credible evidence indicate, that a law student or faculty member was responsible for the alleged arson.

Noted people[edit]


  • Alan Brownstein, Boochever and Bird Chair for the Study and Teaching of Freedom and Equality, Professor Emeritus
  • Gabriel "Jack" Chin, Professor of Law, specialist in fields of immigration law and criminal procedure
  • Joel Dobris, Professor of Law, scholar of Trusts, Wills, and Estates
  • Angela P. Harris, Professor of Law, critical legal theory scholar
  • Robert W. Hillman, Professor of Law, Fair Business Practices and Investor Advocacy Chair, Professor Emeritus
  • Edward Imwinkelried, Edward L. Barrett Jr. Professor of Law
  • Kevin Johnson, Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies, specialist in civil rights, immigration, and Chicano/a rights law
  • Miguel Méndez, Professor of Law, evidence law scholar
  • Terry O'Neill, President, National Organization for Women, acting professor of law 1988–1989.
  • Rex R. Perschbacher, Daniel J. Dykstra Endowed Chair, Lecturer (1981-2016), Dean of the Law School (1998-2008), Professor Emeritus (2016-2018). Professor of Law, Civil Procedure, Professional Responsibility, Legal Ethics and clinical application of legal education
  • Cruz Reynoso, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court 1982–1987, Professor Emeritus
  • Martha West, former Associate Dean; Professor Emeritus
  • William S. Dodge, Professor of Law, international law, international transactions, and international dispute resolution.
    He currently serves as Co-Reporter for the American Law Institute's Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law: Jurisdiction and as a member of the State Department's Advisory Committee on International Law.



  1. ^ a b c d e "U.S. News & World Report, "Best Law Schools: University of California -- Davis"".
  2. ^ "Annual Endowment Report, Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2014; p.4" (PDF). Chief Investment Officer of the Regents of the University of California.
  3. ^ Rubino, Kathryn (16 December 2019). "California Bar Exam Results: A Breakdown By Law School (July 2019)". Above the Law. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  4. ^ "ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year". ABA website. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  5. ^ AALS Member Schools
  6. ^ King Hall
  7. ^ "America's Best Graduate Schools 2008, Law School Diversity Index". US News & World Report. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
  8. ^ Larsen, Rebecca (March 2011), "Most Diverse Law Schools (Diversity Honor Roll)", The National Jurist, San Diego, California: Cypress Magazines, 20 (6): 30–37
  9. ^ Weyenberg, Michelle (January 2011). "Best Law Schools for Public Interest". The National Jurist. San Diego, California: Cypress Magazines. 20 (4): 24–28.
  10. ^ "America's Best Graduate Schools 2008, What are the largest and smallest law schools?". US News. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
  11. ^ a b "Public Cost Programs - Top Law Schools - US News Best Graduate Schools". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  12. ^ "America's Best Graduate Schools 2008, Who's the priciest? Who's the cheapest?". US News & World Report. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
  13. ^ "America's Best Graduate Schools 2008, Which public schools award the most and the least financial aid?". US News. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
  14. ^ "America's Best Graduate Schools 2008, Whose graduates have the most debt? The least?". US News. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
  15. ^ "Law School expands loan repayment assistance program". The Aggie. October 5, 2009. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  16. ^ "Top 25 Law Faculties Based on Scholarly Impact, 2005-2009".
  17. ^ "Internet Legal Research Group: University of California-Davis School of Law, 2009 profile". Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  18. ^ Robertson, Kathy (2009-11-25). "Top UC Davis, McGeorge law students raise the bar". Sacramento Business Journal. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  19. ^ Hoerauf, Graham (2013-03-13). "California Bar Admissions 2012" (PDF). California Bar Association. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
  20. ^ "TaxProf Blog: July 2013 California Bar Exam Results".
  21. ^ Robertson, Kathy (January 8, 2015). "UC Davis ranks No. 4 in bar exam pass rate; McGeorge comes in at No. 15". Sacramento Business Journal. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  22. ^ "Employment Statistics". 10 September 2008.
  23. ^ "University of California-Davis Profile".
  24. ^ "Tuition and Expenses". 10 September 2008.
  25. ^ "University of California-Davis Profile".

External links[edit]