University of San Francisco School of Law

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Not to be confused with San Francisco Law School.
University of San Francisco
School of Law
USF Law logo.png
Motto Pro Urbe et Universitate
For City and University
Parent school University of San Francisco
Established 1912[1]
School type Private, Jesuit
Dean John D. Trasviña
Location San Francisco, California, U.S.
Enrollment 656[2]
Faculty 83[2]
USNWR ranking 138[1]
Bar pass rate 66.67%[3]
ABA profile [1]

The University of San Francisco School of Law (USF Law) is the American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school of the private University of San Francisco. Established in 1912, the law school has approximately 700 students. It received ABA approval in 1935.[4] It joined the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in 1937.[5]


The University of San Francisco School of Law's Koret Law Center occupies two buildings on the 55-acre (220,000 m2) hilltop USF campus overlooking Golden Gate Park, the Pacific Ocean and downtown San Francisco.


For fall 2013 admitted students, the median LSAT scores were 153 and the median GPA was 3.28.[6] The majority of the class admitted in 2013 had LSAT scores in the 56th percentile or higher.[6][7] Following the 2012-2013 academic year, 26.9% of first year students left USF Law in academic (26 students) and non-academic (33 students) attrition.[6]

USF offers full- and part-time programs leading to the J.D. degree. Students can also enroll in the J.D./M.B.A. program which takes four years of study. USF also offers a J.D./Master of Urban Affairs and a J.D./Master of Arts in Public Affairs. J.D. students can also receive certificates at graduation in Public Interest Law, Intellectual Property, Employment Law, International Law, and other areas. USF also offers a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree program in Comparative Law and International Transactions for foreign lawyers who have first degrees in law from a non-American university as well as an LL.M. in Intellectual Property and Technology law for foreign and American lawyers. USF also offers an LL.M. in Taxation for foreign and domestic students with law degrees, as well as a Master of Legal Studies in Taxation (M.L.S.T.) for students with a bachelor's degree.


In 2015, the U.S. News & World Report placed USF Law 138th in the United States.[8]

In 2010, Super Lawyers U.S. Law School Rankings placed USF Law 62nd in the United States.[9]

USF Law was listed with a "B+" in the March 2011 "Diversity Honor Roll" by The National Jurist: The Magazine for Law Students.[10]

Bar passage rates[edit]

February and July 2012 California Bar passage rates for USF test takers were 66.7% compared to the state average of 71.43%.[2]

Based on a 2001-2007 6 year average, 70.3% of University of San Francisco Law graduates passed the California State Bar.[11]

Post-graduation employment[edit]

ABA Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates[12]
Employment Status Percentage
Employed - Bar Passage Required
Employed - J.D. Advantage
Employed - Professional Position
Employed - Non-Professional Position
Employed - Undeterminable
Pursuing Graduate Degree Full Time
Unemployed - Start Date Deferred
Unemployed - Not Seeking
Unemployed - Seeking
Employment Status Unknown
Total of 200 Graduates

According to the University of San Francisco School of Law's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 34% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo-practitioners.[13] The University of San Francisco School of Law's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 41.5%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[14]

Employment Outcomes: According to the law professor blog, The Faculty Lounge, based on 2012 ABA data, only 22.6% of graduates obtained full-time, long term positions requiring bar admission (i.e., jobs as lawyers), 9 months after graduation, ranking 196th out of 197 law schools.[15]

As of 2014, the University of San Francisco School of Law does not publish an average salary for recent graduates.[16][17]

Based on a 2001-2007 6 year average, 92.3% of University of San Francisco Law graduates were employed in some capacity (including part-time, short-term, non-legal jobs) 9 months after graduation.[11]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at the University of San Francisco School of Law for the 2014-2015 academic year is $75,302.[18] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $266,638.[19]

Student Debt[edit]

According to U.S. News & World Report, the average indebtedness of 2013 graduates who incurred law school debt was $146,919 (not including undergraduate debt), and 89% of 2013 graduates took on debt.[20] This information should be considered in light of the fact that only 22.6% of 2012 graduates obtained full-time, long term positions requiring bar admission (i.e., jobs as lawyers) within 9 months after graduation.[21]


The Law School has several school-sponsored publications in which students can participate. The Maritime Law Journal is one of two journals devoted to maritime law in the country and is subscribed to by the United States Supreme Court.

Student life[edit]

USF sponsors student groups encompassing a wide range of interests, which reflects the diversity and drive of the student body. The various organizations sponsor lectures from notable attorneys and judges as well as a Last Lecture series highlighting the outstanding scholarship of the faculty. In addition, the Public Interest Law Foundation holds an annual auction, drawing lawyers, judges and other community members in support of the school's commitment to public service.

Institutes, centers and special projects[edit]

USF sponsors a range of institutes, centers and special projects. Those with an international focus include the Center for Law and Global Justice which develops and implements international rule of law projects. In addition USF sponsors study abroad programs for its students in Prague, Dublin and Budapest. The exchange programs include instruction at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Relevant international coursework includes the study of European Community Law, International Business Transactions, and European Constitutionalism. The latter has been taught by the late prof. Vojtech Cepl, the principal drafter of the post-communist Constitution of the Czech Republic. Following his role in the Velvet Revolution of 1989, Mr. Cepl was nominated a justice of the Czech Constitutional Court and briefly participated as an advisor in post-war Iraq.

USF is also home to the McCarthy Institute for Intellectual Property and Technology Law, the Internet and Intellectual Property Justice Project, which provides legal assistance to those in need of intellectual property advice, and Picturing Justice, which focuses on images of law in film and television.

In addition, USF hosts programs designed specifically for students such as the Keta Taylor Colby Death Penalty Project, which places students in the South working on death penalty appeals. Students can also participate in the Intensive Advocacy Program, which brings students from a variety of law schools and places them in an intensive trial advocacy class featuring notable local practitioners as teachers.

The school also provides ongoing mentoring through its chapter of Inn of Court. The USF chapter is the American Inn.

Dorraine Zief Law Library[edit]

In 2000, the law school doubled in size when the new Dorraine Zief Law Library opened. Three years later, the law school's main classroom and administration building, Kendrick Hall, reopened after an extensive renovation. The library is also frequented by students of other local law schools, attesting to its comfort and functionality.[22]


In February 2012, USF Law was named as the defendant in a lawsuit alleging deceptive reporting of employment data to prospective students.[23] According to the complaint, USF Law's material misrepresentations included job placement rates and salary data published in its "Viewbook" for prospective students.[24] A judge in 2015 denied the plaintiffs' motion for class action certification, and the case is no longer active. [25][26]

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni sitting judges[edit]


  1. ^ a b "U.S. News & World Report, "Best Law Schools: University of San Francisco"". Retrieved March 12, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "2013 ABA Report" (PDF). ABA. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ "2013 ABA Report". ABA. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  4. ^ "ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year". ABA website. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  5. ^ AALS Member Schools
  6. ^ a b c "2013 ABA Report" (PDF). ABA. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  7. ^ "LSAT percentiles". Cambridge LSAT. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  8. ^ US News - University of San Francisco
  9. ^ "2010 SUPER LAWYERS U.S. LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS". Super Lawyers. Retrieved December 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ Larsen, Rebecca (March 2011), "Most Diverse Law Schools (Diversity Honor Roll)", The National Jurist, San Diego, California: Cypress Magazines, 20 (6): 30–37 
  11. ^ a b "Internet Legal Research Group: University of San Francisco School of Law, 2009 profile". Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates". 
  13. ^ "ABA Disclosure". 
  14. ^ "USF Profile". 
  15. ^ Rosin, Gary. "Full Rankings: Bar Admission Required, Full-Time, Long Term", The Faculty Lounge, March 30, 2013. Retrieved on February 24, 2014, -- For the latest Employment Summary Reports from the American Bar Association, Section of Legal Education, see
  16. ^ "University of San Francisco School of Law". Law School Transparency. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  17. ^ "University of San Francisco School of Law 2013-2014 Viewbook". University of San Francisco School of Law. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Tuition and Fees". 
  19. ^ "USF Profile". 
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Class action: Law school grads claim misleading reports of success". San Francisco, California: Los Angeles Times. April 2, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Hallcock et al v. USF Law" (PDF). Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Lawsuits part of call for more transparency at law schools". The Big Story. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  26. ^ Olson, Elizabeth (2016-03-06). "Law Graduate Gets Her Day in Court, Suing Law School". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  27. ^ "J. Thomas McCarthy". USF School of Law. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  28. ^ "John J. Osborn Jr.". USF School of Law. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  29. ^ "University of San Francisco Finds Next Law Dean at HUD". The National Law Journal. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Alumna Inspires Students With Career Achievements J. Osborn Jr.". USF School of Law. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  31. ^ "BURTON, John Lowell, (1932 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Cupcake Brown's up-from-the-gutter memoir doesn'tgo down easilyin a cynical world". U-T San Diego. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Fox News legal analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle outed as former underwear model". Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Michael Hennessey". USF School of Law. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  35. ^ "EDWARD J. IMWINKELRIED". UC Davis School of Law. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Alumni Profiles". USF School of Law. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  37. ^ "SUSAN C. LEE". Maryland Hose of Delegates. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  38. ^ "SUSAN C. LEE". Who's Who of Asian Americans. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  39. ^ "5 questions for ... MARK MASSARA". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  40. ^ Wolf, Kathy Morris (1996). California Courts and Judge s. James Publishing. p. 1541. 
  41. ^ "Twitter Names Marjorie Scardino as First Woman to Join Board". Bloomberg Technology. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  42. ^ "SHELLEY, John Francis, (1905 - 1974)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  43. ^ Government Printing Office (2005). Congressional Record, V. 147, Pt. 4, March 27, 2001 to April 23, 2001. Government Printing Office. p. 4944. 
  44. ^ "Associate Justice Ming W. Chin". California Courts. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  45. ^ "Mary Jane Theis, Supreme Court Justice First District". Illinois Courts. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  46. ^ "Biographical Directory of Federal Judges Armstrong, Saundra Brown". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  47. ^ "Biographical Directory of Federal Judges Jenkins, Martin J.". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  48. ^ "Michigan – Bill Schuette". Legal Newsline. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 

External links[edit]

37°46′29″N 122°27′9″W / 37.77472°N 122.45250°W / 37.77472; -122.45250Coordinates: 37°46′29″N 122°27′9″W / 37.77472°N 122.45250°W / 37.77472; -122.45250