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
Established 1966
School type Private, for-profit
Dean Allen Easley
Location Irvine, California, U.S.
Coordinates: 33°23′35″N 117°27′14″W / 33.39304°N 117.45394°W / 33.39304; -117.45394
Enrollment 198 (full-time)
110 (part-time)
Faculty 27
Bar pass rate 59% (July 2014 exam, first-time takers);[1] 83% (February 2013 exam, first-time takers)[2]
Website wsulaw.edu
ABA profile Western State College of Law profile

Western State College of Law at Argosy University is a private, for-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 accredited by the American Bar Association. Prior to 2012, the school was known by its former name Western State University College of Law. The school is owned by Education Management Corporation.

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


Western State College of Law at Argosy University is a for-profit law school owned by Education Management Corporation.[3] The school is located in Irvine, California and offers full and part-time programs.[3][4] Since 2014, Allan Easley has served as the school's interim dean.[5][6]

Western State is not a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) but has paid a fee to receive AALS services.[7]


Western State College of Law was founded in 1966 in Orange County, California.[3][4] It is the oldest existing law school in the county.[8] 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[9][10] and by the California State Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE).[11] The accreditation by the CBE made graduates eligible to sit for the California Bar Examination.[11]

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.[10][12] In 1995, Western State again began pursuing accreditation with the ABA for all three of its campuses.[13] 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[14][15] and the following year, the school closed its Irvine location and consolidated students to its Fullerton campus.[9] In 1998, the school received provisional accreditation from the ABA[3] and opened a new law library.[16]

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.[3][17] Western State was granted full accreditation with the ABA in 2005, and became the third for-profit law school to receive ABA accreditation.[3]

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.[18] The same year, the school sold its property to California State University, Fullerton for roughly $18 million.[19]

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



Western State offers both full-time and part-time programs.[3][20] 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.[21]

As of August 2013, the school had 321 full-time students and 149 part-time students, and 27 members of faculty.[20] The school's bar pass rate was 79% for first-time takers in July 2012[22] and 89% for first-time takers in February 2013.[23][24]

Accreditation and rankings[edit]

The American Bar Association provisionally accredited Western State in 1998[25] and conferred full accreditation in 2005.[3][26]

Western State was listed with a "B+" in the March 2011 "Diversity Honor Roll" by The National Jurist: The Magazine for Law Students.[27]


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.[28] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $251,417.[29]

Post-graduation employment[edit]

ABA Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates[30]
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 123 Graduates

According to Western State's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 33.3% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo-practitioners.[31] Western State's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 35.8%, 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.[32]

According to law professor blog "The Faculty Lounge", 32.5% of graduates obtained full-time, long term positions requiring bar admission 9 months after graduation, ranking 189th out of 197 law schools.[33]

Based on a 2004–2007 two-year average (2007 and 2004), 75.3 percent of the school's graduates were employed nine months after graduation.[34] In 2013, The National Law Journal reported the graduating class of 2012 had the fourth highest unemployment rate, at 27.7 percent, among all U.S. law schools. This figure represents the number of graduates seeking employment but not finding a job within nine months after graduation.[35]

As of 2005, Western State graduates accounted for 25% of Orange County judges and court commissioners.[3]

Notable alumni[edit]

Western State alumni include politicians Anthony Adams, a former member of the California State Assembly,[36] Duncan Hunter, a former member of the United States House of Representatives and 2008 Presidential candidate,[37][38] Ross Johnson, a former long-time California state legislator[39] and Mangala Moonesinghe, a member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka and Ambassador.[40] The school has also graduated several District Attorneys including Bonnie Dumanis, the District Attorney for San Diego County,[41] George Gascón, the District Attorney and former police chief for San Francisco,[42] and the San Diego Superior Court judge Lillian Lim, a graduate of former San Diego Campus.[43]

Other alumni of the school include Bob Chandler, a former American football player,[44] Dick Walsh, a former Major League Baseball executive,[45] Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen, a Vietnamese-American personality and co-host of Thuy Nga's Paris by Night shows,[46] Mike Garrett, a former American football player and former athletic director at the University of Southern California,[39] Ruth Parasol, the founder of PartyGaming,[47] George O. Wood, the General Superintendent of Assemblies of God,[48] Idaho state representative Vito Barbieri, and Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander (businessman), a graduate of the former San Diego Campus.[49]



  1. ^ "General Statistics Report-July 2014 California Bar Examination" (PDF). admissions.ca.gov. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "February 2014 California Bar Examination Overall Statistics" (PDF). admissions.calbar.ca.gov. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Jeff Gottlieb (16 February 2005). "O.C. Law School Gets Accreditation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Amanda Bronstad (6 March 2009). "California's Western State College of Law names a new dean". The National Law Journal. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  6. ^ WSCoL: Faculty and staff
  7. ^ "Non-Member Fee-Paid Schools". aals.org. Association of American Law Schools. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Western State College of Law". LSAC. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Martin Miller (19 March 1996). "Western to Merge Sites in Bid for Bar OK". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Matt Lait (20 July 1992). "Law School's Minorities Get Cultural Help". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ Eric Lichtblau (12 July 1990). "Irvine: Western State Law Campus Will Open". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Anna Cekola (7 July 1995). "Countywide: Law School to Seek Bar Accreditation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  14. ^ Emily Cadman (2 May 2006). "Thomas Jefferson dean aims to improve law education quality". The San Diego Daily Transcript. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "History". tjsl.edu. Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  16. ^ Mimi Ko Cruz (6 January 1998). "Law School Adds Library in ABA Bid". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  17. ^ Deniene Husted (17 November 2000). "Fullerton Community News". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "History". edmc.edu. Education Management Corporation. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  19. ^ Raymond Mendoza (26 September 2012). "CSUF to acquire new property". The Daily Titan. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "Western State College of Law at Argosy University". usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved August 29, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Areas of Concentration". wsulaw.edu. Western State College of Law at Argosy University. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  22. ^ "Western State College of Law". lsac.org. American Bar Association. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  23. ^ "General Statistics Report February 2013 California Bar Examination" (PDF). calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  24. ^ "ABA Standard 509". wsulaw.edu. Western State College of Law at Argosy University. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  25. ^ "Western State law school wins provisional approval for ABA accreditation". California Bar Journal. September 1998. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  26. ^ "ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year". americanbar.org. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  27. ^ Larsen, Rebecca (March 2011). "Most Diverse Law Schools". The National Jurist. San Diego, California: Cypress Magazines. 20 (6): 30–37. 
  28. ^ "Tuition and Fees". 
  29. ^ "Western State Profile". 
  30. ^ "Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates" (PDF). 
  31. ^ "ABA Disclosures" (PDF). 
  32. ^ "Western State Profile". 
  33. ^ Rosin, Gary. "Full Rankings: Bar Admission Required, Full-Time, Long Term", The Faculty Lounge, March 30, 2013. Retrieved on February 24, 2014, http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/03/-full-rankings-bar-admission-required-full-time-long-term.html. -- For the latest Employment Summary Reports from the American Bar Association, Section of Legal Education, see http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/
  34. ^ "Internet Legal Research Group: Western State University, 2009 profile". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  35. ^ "The Law Schools With the Highest Unemployment Rates". The National Law Journal. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  36. ^ "Adams snags $111,845 state job". Daily Press. 8 December 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  37. ^ "Duncan Lee Hunter". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  38. ^ "Hunter, Duncan Lee". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  39. ^ a b "Alumni Hall of Fame". wsulaw.edu. Western State College of Law at Argosy University. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  40. ^ "Q&A With HC Mangala Moonesinghe". lacnet.org. The Lanka Academic. 2000. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  41. ^ "Bonnie Michelle Dumanis". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  42. ^ Carla Rivera (10 January 2011). "San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon named district attorney". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  43. ^ "Lillian Ygna Lim". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  44. ^ Douglas S. Looney (12 July 1982). "The Bare Facts Are He's A Star". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  45. ^ 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. 
  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. ^ "George Oliver Wood". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  49. ^ "Leslie Lee Alexander". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 

External links[edit]