Western State College of Law

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Western State College of Law at Westcliff University
Parent schoolWestcliff University
School typePrivate, For-profit[1]
DeanAllen Easley[2]
LocationIrvine, California, United States
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)
USNWR ranking148th-194th (bottom 25%)[3]
Bar pass rate58% (July 2019 exam, first-time takers)[4]
ABA profileWestern State College of Law profile
Western State College of Law Logo.jpg

Western State College of Law at Westcliff University is a private, for-profit law school in Irvine, California. It offers full and part-time programs and is approved by the American Bar Association.[5][6] Western State pays a fee to receive services from Association of American Law Schools (AALS).[7]

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


Western State College of Law was founded in 1966 in Orange County, California.[5][6] 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[5] 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.[5][17] Western State was granted full accreditation with the ABA in 2005, and became the third for-profit law school to receive ABA approval.[5] 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.

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.[20] Critics have claimed that the sale and shift to non-profit status was designed to evade consumer protection regulations focused on for-profit institutions.[20]

In 2019, a federal court approved Westcliff University's plan to purchase the school and revert it to for-profit status.[21] The ABA allowed continued accreditation under the ownership of Westcliff University in December 2019.[22]



Western State offers both full-time and part-time programs.[5][23] 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 business or criminal law through additional training, internships and networking with lawyers.[24] The law school also offers certificates in Immigration Law, Family Law, and Real Estate.

As of August 2019, the school had 274 full-time students and 149 part-time students, and 61 members of faculty.[25]

Bar passage[edit]

The school's bar pass rate was 58% for first-time takers of the July 2019 California bar exam.[26] The Ultimate Bar Pass Rate, which the ABA defines as the pass rate for graduates who sat for a bar exam within two years of graduating, is 76.63% for the Class of 2018.[27]


US News and World Report ranks the school in the quartile known as #148-194.[25] Among all law schools, Western State has the third-highest Diversity Index, as reported by US News and World Report.[28] In addition, it received an A+ for Diversity in National Jurist's Best Law Schools.[29]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at the Western State College of Law for the 2018-19 academic year is $63,692 for a student living at home and $77,126 for a full-time student that is self-supporting.[30]

Post-graduation employment[edit]

ABA Employment Summary for 2018 Graduates[31]
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 100 Graduates

According to Western State's ABA-required disclosures, 74% of the Class of 2018 obtained employment nine months after graduation. 62% of the class obtained JD-required or JD-advantage employment. Excluding solo practitioners, 45% of the class obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment.[32]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.ocregister.com/2019/08/15/western-state-college-of-law-in-irvine-has-a-new-buyer-classes-will-soon-start-for-current-students/
  2. ^ "Full-Time Law Faculty | Western State College of Law". www.wsulaw.edu. Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  3. ^ "Western State Law School at Westcliff University". U.S. News & World Report – Best Law Schools. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  4. ^ http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/documents/July2019-CBX-Statistics.pdf
  5. ^ a b c d e f Jeff Gottlieb (16 February 2005). "O.C. Law School Gets Accreditation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  6. ^ 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.
  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. Archived from the original on 3 May 2016. 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 https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/03/06/large-profit-chain-edmc-be-bought-dream-center-missionary-group
  21. ^ Park, Jeong (15 August 2019). "Western State College of Law in Irvine has a new buyer". Orange County Register. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  22. ^ "American Bar Association Approves Western State College of Law Accreditation". www.businesswire.com. 2019-12-19. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  23. ^ "Western State College of Law at Argosy University". usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  24. ^ "Areas of Concentration". wsulaw.edu. Western State College of Law at Argosy University. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  25. ^ a b "US News Best Grad Schools: Western State College of Law at Argosy University". Archived from the original on 2017-05-25. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  26. ^ "General Statistics Report - July 2019 California Bar Examination" (PDF). Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  27. ^ "Standard 509 Disclosure". www.abarequireddisclosures.org. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  28. ^ "Law School Diversity Index". US News & World Report. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  29. ^ "Western State College of Law | the National Jurist". nationaljurist.com. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  30. ^ "Standard 509 Disclosure". www.abarequireddisclosures.org. Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  31. ^ http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/
  32. ^ "Standard 509 Disclosure". abarequireddisclosures.org. Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  33. ^ "Adams snags $111,845 state job". Daily Press. 8 December 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  34. ^ "Leslie Lee Alexander". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  35. ^ Douglas S. Looney (12 July 1982). "The Bare Facts Are He's A Star". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  36. ^ "Bonnie Michelle Dumanis". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  37. ^ a b "Alumni Hall of Fame". wsulaw.edu. Western State College of Law at Argosy University. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  38. ^ Carla Rivera (10 January 2011). "San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon named district attorney". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  39. ^ "Duncan Lee Hunter". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  40. ^ "Hunter, Duncan Lee". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  41. ^ "Q&A With HC Mangala Moonesinghe". lacnet.org. The Lanka Academic. 2000. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  42. ^ "Duyen Ky Cao Nguyen". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  43. ^ "Ruth Monicka Parasol". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  44. ^ 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. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  45. ^ "George Oliver Wood". members.calbar.ca.gov. The State Bar of California. Retrieved 29 August 2013.

External links[edit]