Western State College of Law at Argosy University

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Western State College of Law at Argosy University
Western State College of Law Logo.png
School typePrivate, non-profit[1]
DeanAllen Easley
LocationIrvine, California, U.S.
Coordinates: 33°23′35″N 117°27′14″W / 33.39304°N 117.45394°W / 33.39304; -117.45394
Enrollment198 (full-time)
110 (part-time)
Bar pass rate51% (July 2018 exam, first-time takers)[2]
ABA profileWestern State College of Law profile

Western State College of Law at Argosy University is a private, non-profit American law school in Irvine, California. It was established in 1966 and is the oldest existing law school in Orange County. Western State is fully approved by the American Bar Association. Prior to 2012, the school was known as Western State University College of Law. The school is operated by Dream Center Education Holdings, a subsidiary of the Dream Center megachurch.

Dream Center Education Holdings is now under federal receivership. According to USA Today, $9 million dollars that was supposed to be distributed to students are missing, and some students cannot pay their bills. [3][4][5]

The situation facing the students is filled with claims of "a lack of transparency from the school" as students feel they have been deceived by the administration. As of January 19th 2019, the school is telling students that they are working on getting their financial aid yet there has been nothing to come from it. Students are being forced to choose whether to buy food or pay rent and the school has requested that students "petition" for $50-$100 Visa gift cards to help with expenses, and they still haven't received those either.[6]

View of the campus in Fullerton circa 2010. The school subsequently relocated to Irvine.


Western State College of Law at Argosy University is a non-profit law school owned by Dream Center Education Holdings, LLC.[7] The school is located in Irvine, California and offers full and part-time programs.[8][9] Since 2014, Allan Easley has served as the school's dean.[10]

Western State is not a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).[11]


Western State College of Law was founded in 1966 in Orange County, California.[8][9] It is the oldest existing law school in the county.[12] In 1987, the school applied for accreditation with the American Bar Association (ABA). Although the school was unsuccessful in this attempt, it was at the time accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges[13][14] and by the California State Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE).[15] The accreditation by the CBE made graduates eligible to sit for the California Bar Examination.[15]

By 1990, Western State had expanded to three campuses in California including locations in Fullerton, Irvine and San Diego. At that time, the school was the largest law school in California.[14][16] In 1995, Western State again began pursuing accreditation with the ABA for all three of its campuses.[17] In the latter half of the 1990s, the school underwent several changes as part of the accreditation process. In 1995, the school's San Diego campus became the independently owned Thomas Jefferson School of Law[18][19] and the following year, the school closed its Irvine location and consolidated students to its Fullerton campus.[13] In 1998, the school received provisional accreditation from the ABA[8] and opened a new law library.[20]

In 2000, the college's owners sold Western State to Argosy Education Group, which owned the school for a year before it was purchased by Education Management Corporation.[8][21] Western State was granted full accreditation with the ABA in 2005, and became the third for-profit law school to receive ABA approval.[8]

In April 2012, the school was incorporated as one of the colleges of Argosy University and officially changed its name to Western State College of Law at Argosy University.[22] The same year, the school sold its property to California State University, Fullerton for roughly $18 million.[23]

In January 2016, the campus moved to Irvine, California.

In October 2017, it was announced that the college of law was sold, along with the rest of Argosy University, to the Dream Center Foundation, a subsidiary of the Dream Center megachurch. The transaction was funded in part by the Najafi Companies, a private equity firm.[24] Critics have claimed that the sale and shift to non-profit status was designed to evade consumer protection regulations focused on for-profit institutions.[25]



Western State offers both full-time and part-time programs.[8][26] The school offers two areas of focus through their Business Law Center and their Criminal Law Practice Center, which are aimed at preparing graduates for a career in criminal or business law through additional training, internships and networking with lawyers.[27]. The law school also offers certificates in Immigration Law, Family Law, and Real Estate. Since 2011, the Western State College of Law Immigration Clinic has provided students with practical training in lawyering skills through pro bono representation of low-income noncitizens in a range of immigration matters.

As of August 2013, the school had 321 full-time students and 149 part-time students, and 27 members of faculty.[26] The school's bar pass rate was 41% for first-time takers in July 2016.[28]

Accreditation and rankings[edit]

The American Bar Association provisionally accredited Western State in 1998[29] and conferred full accreditation in 2005.[8][30]

Western State was listed with a "B+" in the March 2011 "Diversity Honor Roll" by The National Jurist: The Magazine for Law Students.[31]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at the Western State College of Law for the 2013-2014 academic year is $64,357 living at home and $59,493 for a full-time student that is self-supporting.[32] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $251,417.[33]

Post-graduation employment[edit]

ABA Employment Summary for 2016 Graduates[34]
Employment Status percentage of graduates
Employed - Bar Passage Required
Employed - J.D. Advantage
Employed - Professional Position
Employed - Non-Professional Position
Unemployed - Start Date Deferred
Unemployed - Not Seeking
Unemployed - Seeking
Employment Status Unknown
Total of 91 Graduates

According to Western State's ABA-required disclosures, 32.9% of the Class of 2016 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo-practitioners.[35] Western State's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 35.1%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2016 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[36]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.argosy.edu/news-events/los-angeles-based-dream-center-foundation-completes-transition-of-south-university-argosy-university-western-state-college-of-law-and-art-institutes-to-nonprofit-institutions
  2. ^ http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/documents/admissions/JULY2018_CBX_Statistics.pdf
  3. ^ https://www.argosy.edu/news-events/los-angeles-based-dream-center-foundation-completes-transition-of-south-university-argosy-university-western-state-college-of-law-and-art-institutes-to-nonprofit-institutions
  4. ^ https://abovethelaw.com/2019/02/law-school-student-loans-delay-receivership/
  5. ^ https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2019/02/08/argosy-university-financial-aid-closing-receivership-accreditation/2817950002/
  6. ^ https://abovethelaw.com/2019/02/law-school-student-loans-delay-receivership/
  7. ^ https://www.argosy.edu/news-events/los-angeles-based-dream-center-foundation-completes-transition-of-south-university-argosy-university-western-state-college-of-law-and-art-institutes-to-nonprofit-institutions
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Jeff Gottlieb (16 February 2005). "O.C. Law School Gets Accreditation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  9. ^ a b Elaine Gale (5 August 1998). "Western State College of Law Is Judged Fit for ABA Accreditation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  10. ^ https://www.wsulaw.edu/faculty-and-staff/full-time-faculty
  11. ^ "Non-Member Fee-Paid Schools". aals.org. Association of American Law Schools. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  12. ^ "Western State College of Law". LSAC. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  13. ^ a b Martin Miller (19 March 1996). "Western to Merge Sites in Bid for Bar OK". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  14. ^ a b Matt Lait (20 July 1992). "Law School's Minorities Get Cultural Help". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  15. ^ a b Marla Jo Fisher (20 December 2003). "Jury's out on law school's future; Western State University, O.C.'s oldest law college, is in danger of losing its ABA accreditation". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  16. ^ Eric Lichtblau (12 July 1990). "Irvine: Western State Law Campus Will Open". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  17. ^ Anna Cekola (7 July 1995). "Countywide: Law School to Seek Bar Accreditation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  18. ^ Emily Cadman (2 May 2006). "Thomas Jefferson dean aims to improve law education quality". The San Diego Daily Transcript. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  19. ^ "History". tjsl.edu. Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  20. ^ Mimi Ko Cruz (6 January 1998). "Law School Adds Library in ABA Bid". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  21. ^ Deniene Husted (17 November 2000). "Fullerton Community News". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  22. ^ "History". edmc.edu. Education Management Corporation. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  23. ^ Raymond Mendoza (26 September 2012). "CSUF to acquire new property". The Daily Titan. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  24. ^ https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/03/06/large-profit-chain-edmc-be-bought-dream-center-missionary-group
  25. ^ https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/03/06/large-profit-chain-edmc-be-bought-dream-center-missionary-group
  26. ^ a b "Western State College of Law at Argosy University". usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  27. ^ "Areas of Concentration". wsulaw.edu. Western State College of Law at Argosy University. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  28. ^ http://abovethelaw.com/2016/12/california-bar-exam-results-by-law-school-2016/
  29. ^ "Western State law school wins provisional approval for ABA accreditation". California Bar Journal. September 1998. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  30. ^ "ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year". americanbar.org. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  31. ^ Larsen, Rebecca (March 2011). "Most Diverse Law Schools". The National Jurist. San Diego, California: Cypress Magazines. 20 (6): 30–37.
  32. ^ "Tuition and Fees".
  33. ^ "Western State Profile".
  34. ^ http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/
  35. ^ http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/
  36. ^ http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/
  37. ^ "Adams snags $111,845 state job". Daily Press. 8 December 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  38. ^ "Leslie Lee Alexander". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  39. ^ Douglas S. Looney (12 July 1982). "The Bare Facts Are He's A Star". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  40. ^ "Bonnie Michelle Dumanis". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  41. ^ a b "Alumni Hall of Fame". wsulaw.edu. Western State College of Law at Argosy University. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  42. ^ Carla Rivera (10 January 2011). "San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon named district attorney". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  43. ^ "Duncan Lee Hunter". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  44. ^ "Hunter, Duncan Lee". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  45. ^ "Q&A With HC Mangala Moonesinghe". lacnet.org. The Lanka Academic. 2000. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  46. ^ "Duyen Ky Cao Nguyen". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  47. ^ "Ruth Monicka Parasol". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  48. ^ Park, Carol (December 13, 2004). "Profile: Dick Walsh, Executive Director of the Ontario Convention Center; Former California Angels Executive VP and GM". Tribune Business News. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  49. ^ "George Oliver Wood". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 29 August 2013.

External links[edit]