Whittier Law School
|Whittier Law School|
|Motto||In Service of Justice and Enterprise|
|Parent school||Whittier College|
|Location||Costa Mesa, California, United States|
|Enrollment||642 (Full- and part-time)|
|USNWR ranking||Rank not published|
|Bar pass rate||43% (July 2014)|
|ABA profile||LSAC link: Whittier Law School|
Whittier Law School is a law school in Costa Mesa, California. Founded in 1966, it is a fully accredited ABA law school in Orange County, California. A private university, it is part of Whittier College.
- 1 History
- 2 Academics
- 3 Publications
- 4 Programs
- 5 Bar passage rates
- 6 Costs
- 7 Employment Status
- 8 Noted people
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The Law School was originally founded as the Beverly College of Law in 1966, and located in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles’s Westside. It was a private, nonprofit educational institution intended to meet the growing need for a law school in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
In 1974, the Whittier College Board of Trustees voted to merge the Beverly College of Law into Whittier College. In 1975, the Law School became known as the Whittier College School of Law and later as Whittier Law School. In response to a significant gift to the Law School, the Hancock Park building was dedicated as the Ross McCollum Law Center during a ceremony at which Supreme Court Associate Justice Byron R. White presented the major address.
During the 1990s, the Law School, along with leaders at Whittier College, decided to relocate the campus to Orange County in order to satisfy space needs and in response to requests by the community for an ABA law school in Orange County. In 1996, the College acquired the present 14-acre campus in Costa Mesa, remodeled the buildings on the site to accommodate the needs of the Law School, and moved the faculty and students over a period of three years. In 1997, the move was completed and Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy gave the major address at the opening ceremony.
In 2013, Chief Justice of California Tani Cantil-Sakauye spoke at the grand opening of law school's 4,400 sq. ft. court room. A substantial amount of the funds to build the new $2-million facility was donated by Paul Kiesel, a Whittier alumnus and partner at Kiesel Law, LLP. Over 150 contributors, including alumni, faculty, judges, law firms, members of the Orange County community, and even Whittier Law School student groups, were responsible for the remainder. 
In 1978, the American Bar Association (ABA) granted Whittier Law School provisional accreditation. In 1985, Whittier Law School was fully accredited by the ABA and in 1987 it became a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).
On August 9, 2005, the ABA, concerned about Whittier Law School's low bar passage rates, placed the law school's accreditation on probationary status for two years. On August 10, 2007, the ABA extended the probation until February 15, 2009. Under the ABA's rules, the law school remained fully accredited during the probation period, and all students who entered and graduated during this period are deemed to have graduated from an ABA accredited law school.
During probation, the ABA conducted several inspections designed to measure the school's efforts to comply with bar passage standards. The law school has taken several steps aimed at preparing its students for the bar examination, including implementing an early bar preparation program; requiring all students to take two graded, semester-long courses on the essay and performance test sections of the bar examination; and offering a summer-long assistance program designed to operate in conjunction with commercial bar preparation courses. As a result, Dean Cogan stated:
Because our bar passage rates in 2003-07, the pertinent five-year period under the new rule, are well in compliance, we have requested to be removed from probation. The ABA Accreditation Committee will consider that request on April 17–19 , and the ABA Council will review the Accreditation Committee’s recommendation on June 6–8 . I expect that after those meetings, the ABA will remove the Law School’s probationary status.
On April 17, 2008, the ABA Accreditation Committee recommended to the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar that Whittier Law School be removed from probation. Dean Cogan reported:
The Law School requested this action on February 14, 2008, because the bar passage rates of our graduates for the five-year period, 2003-07, show compliance with the ABA bar passage rule, Interpretation 301-6. We fully expect that the Council will accept the Committee’s recommendation at its meeting on June 6 and remove the Law School from its probationary status.
On June 7, 2008, the ABA officially removed Whittier Law School from its probationary status. According to Dean Cogan:
On Saturday, June 7, 2008, the Council of the ABA Section on Legal Education & Admissions to the Bar accepted its Accreditation Committee's finding that the Law School is in full compliance with Section 301(a) of the Standards for Approval of Law Schools and Interpretation 301-6(A)(1)(b). In addition, the Council accepted the Committee's conclusion that the Law School satisfied all conditions of its probation.
According to the ABA Section on Legal Education & Admissions to the Bar, Section 301-6(a)(1)(b) states that graduating law students within the last five calendar years must pass a state bar examination at a minimum of 75% in at least three of the five calendar years.
In 2010, The Princeton Review featured Whittier Law School in its 2011 Edition of "The 172 Best Law Schools", highlighting the school's emphasis on small class sizes, an active study body, and practical externship opportunities in intellectual property, criminal, family, business law. In January 2011, Whitter scored a "B-" among "Best Public Interest Law Schools" listing by The National Jurist: The Magazine for Law Students.
On March 22, 2012 U.S. News & World Report included Whittier Law School in its list of "10 Law Schools That Lead to the Most Debt.". According to the same article, the average indebtedness of Whittier Law School graduates was $138,961.
In 2015, Whittier was recognized by "U.S. News and World Report" as the country's fourth most ethnically diverse law school. The website reported that 23% of Whittier students were Hispanic, the school's largest minority. The Council on Legal Education Opportunity, (CLEO) selected Whittier to host two seminars for students from diverse backgrounds over the weekend of June 27-28, 2015. The program's stated goal was "to prepare talented, motivated, yet underrepresented students with guidance in becoming successful law students."  On November 14, 2015, the law school plans to host a day-long law school assessment conference, called "Building an Assessment Plan from the Ground Up," designed to help law schools comply with the assessment requirements recently added by the American Bar Association for accreditation.
For Class 2013:
- Number of Applications: 2,165
- Number of Students Enrolled: 303
- Number of non-white students: 134
- Median Range of LSAT: 150-154
- Median Range of GPA: 2.75-3.28
- Median Age: 27
For Class 2016:
- Number of Applications: 1,579
- Number of Students Enrolled: 221
- Number of non-white students: 116
- Median Range of LSAT: 145-152
- Median Range of GPA: 2.61-3.26
- Median Age: 25
Class of 2013
- Full-time: 67.97%
(256 students matriculated in 2010, 174 students graduated in 2013)
- Part-time: 49.18%
(61 students matriculated in 2009, 30 students graduated in 2013)
The full-time tuition for the 2014-2015 school year was $42,400.
Whittier students’ average debt is $154,267 for 2013 grads. For 2011 it was the 11th highest of 201 ABA accredited law schools. Of 2013 grads who were employed (approximately half were unemployed) nine months after graduation they had a median starting salary of $62,400. The debt-to-income ratio limit for a mortgage with the Fair Housing Administration is 31. Thus a person with $50,000/annual income could not borrow with an FHA loan to buy a $154,267 house. Whereas students are speculating by borrowing the same amount to get an education.
On income of $50,000 and with an income contingent repayment plan with the federal government the monthly payments would start at $652.83 and end at $1,655.22 in 25 years.
According to a ranking conducted by the Washington & Lee Law School, the Whittier Law Review is ranked 109th out of 192 law reviews evaluated. According to a ranking of law reviews on the basis of the prominence of the lead article authors, conducted in 2007 by two professors at the Shepard Broad Law Center, the Whittier Law Review was ranked 121st out of 171 law reviews evaluated. The Law Review is a student-run organization publishing a collection of articles of legal scholarship four times annually. The Law Review is currently in its thirty-sixth year of publication.
Whittier Law School has centers in Children’s Rights, Intellectual Property Law, and International and Comparative Law. These centers host fellows, offer externships, and sponsor symposia and workshops. The law school also offers concentrations in Criminal Law, Business Law, and Environmental Law for students who wish to take additional, specialized courses in those areas.
Whittier Law School offers students the opportunity to study abroad. For summer 2015, the law school is offering summer programs accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) in China, Israel, and Spain.
Whittier Law School regularly hosts symposiums and expert panels for academic discussion of contemporary issues. For example, in September 2014, in conjunction with Orange County Coastkeeper, the school hosted an all-day symposium with a continuing-education component, called "Our Coast To Keep: Environmental Law Enforcement in Southern California." In April 2015, the school will host a symposium on assisted reproductive technology.
Bar passage rates
In February 2012 Whittier Law School recorded a First Time Pass rate of 70.2%.
Whittier Law School recorded the following bar exam First Time Passage Rates --
|Whittier Law||All CA ABA Accredited|
The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Whittier Law School for the 2013-2014 academic year is $72,780. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $261,501.
Legal Employment Prospects of Matriculating Students
According to Whittier's consumer information page and class of 2013 Employment status as reported to the ABA, of the 317 entering students only 210 students graduated and were awarded a degree by Whittier. Of the entering Class 2013 (maltriculated in 2010 as full-time and 2009 as part-time) only 64.3% graduated with a degree from Whittier, however excluding transfers (29 students transferred) 72.9% of the entering class graduated from Whittier. Otherwise of the 2013 Class 46 students were academically disqualified involuntarily and 13 voluntarily withdrew.
Accordingly for the 2013 class, excluding transfers of 29 students, only 210 of 288 students graduated, meaning an employment rate in full-time long term jobs requiring bar passage (e.g. attorney)who were practicing law 9 months after graduation of the 2013 entering class was only 19.44%. Meaning, disregarding transfers, of the Class 2013 approximately only 1 out of 5 students who entered Whittier would graduate and become a lawyer in a full-time long term position within 9 months of graduation.
Employment Status of Graduates
In 2015, National Jurist magazine ranked Whittier Law School 12th in the nation for improved employment. Graduates with full-time jobs increased 13.8% from the Class of 2013 to the Class of 2014. Of the jobs as lawyers; 23.9% reported working in law firms; 1.9% in government; 0.4% in both federal clerkship and public interest. Of graduates, 85 students, (40.9%) reported themselves as "unemployed-seeking" 9 months after graduation. The same number, 85 students of the 2013 graduating class also did not pass the California bar exam. Of those in Class 2013 who did graduate and pass the bar and become licensed (126 students); 69 of them (54.7%) were practicing law 9 months after graduation and only 54 (44.8%) were able to find full-time long term employment as lawyers (2 reported full-time and short-term). No one reported being a solo practitioner. Within the 2013 graduating class not "bar passage required" (practicing law as an attorney) or "JD advantage" type of job, 30 were employed "professionally" or in a "non-professional" position 9 months after graduation. The same number of students also graduated from the part-time program.
In 2015, National Jurist magazine ranked Whittier Law School 12th in the nation for improved employment. The school’s employed increased 13.8% from the Class of 2013 to the Class of 2014.
In 2015 Whittier co-launched a program with the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, whereby a limited number of graduates who commit to perform at least 300 hours of free legal service have access to subsidized office space in the Legal Aid Society's office. The program includes training in marketing, managing office overhead and tax risks. The majority of the funding for the 2014-2015 class came from a grant obtained by the legal aid society. Martin Pritikin, Whittier's associate dean, said,"Law schools need to view themselves as having responsibility to their students even after they graduate to help them transition."
- Raphael Lapin, Adjunct Professor, author, and founder of Lapin Negotiation Strategies
- I. Nelson Rose, Full Professor with Tenure, author of Gambling and the Law
- Martha Bellinger (1982): Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court; Author
- Ursula La'Da Clemons (1992): Presiding Admin. Law Judge, Occupational Safety & Health Appeals Board (OSHAB)
- Judith Ashmann-Gerst (1972): Associate Justice, California courts of appeal
- Florence-Marie Cooper (1975): Judge, United States District Court for the Central District of California
- Roosevelt F. Dorn (1969): Judge, Los Angeles County Superior Court
- Mablean Ephriam (1978): Host, Divorce Court
- Geoffrey H. Fish (1996): Judge, Maricopa County, Arizona Superior Court
- Hugo E. Hill (1970): Judge, Compton Municipal Court
- Cristina Pérez (1994): Judge, Cristina's Court, La Corte del Pueblo, La Corte de Familia, Justice for All with Judge Cristina Perez
- Miriam A. Vogel (1975): Associate Justice (Retired), California courts of appeal
- James Waltz (1979): Judge, Orange County Superior Court
Other appointments and vocations
- Carol Ann Abrams: Television and film producer. Graduated first in her class at Whittier.
- Ethan D. Baker (2006): Candidate, Michigan State Senate, 2014; Former Special Assistant to President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan in their post-presidential offices
- Bryan Glazer: Co-Chairman/ Co-Owner, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Director (Retired), Harbinger Group
- Bill Handel (1979): Morning drive talk show host on KFI-AM in Los Angeles
- Paul D. Irving: Sergeant at Arms of the United States House of Representatives
- Paul R. Kiesel: Partner, Kiesel Law, LLP, and President, 2015-2016 Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
- Christine N. Jones (1997): Candidate, Arizona gubernatorial election, 2014, Former Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary Go Daddy.
- Elaine Lerner: General Counsel, Seminole State College of Florida
- James R. Mathers (1968): Actor; Playwright; Founder, Studio-City Based Writer's Group
- Harry Scolinos (1974): CEO/Chairman, U.S. Fingerprinting, Inc.; Candidate, California's 29th congressional district, 2004; Partner, Scolinos, Sheldon & Nevell
- Tom Taulli (1994): Author; Mobile app developer
- Diane Tebelius (1979): Chairman, Washington State Republican Party (2006–2007); Candidate, Washington's 8th congressional district, 2004
- "U.S. News & World Report, "Best Law Schools: Whittier College"". Retrieved April 14, 2011.
- WLS Foundation[dead link]
- Whittier Law School Site Change Cite error: Invalid
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- Dobruck, Jeremiah (27 April 2013). "Campus courtroom offered up: Whittier Law School says its new 4,400-square-foot space could be used for real cases, alleviating pressure on state system". Daily Pilot. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- "Whittier Law Courtroom / List of Donors". www.law.whittier.edu. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- "Degree Requirements". www.law.whittier.edu. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year". ABA website. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- WLS Accreditation[dead link]
- AALS Member Schools
- Whittier Law School Accreditation[dead link]
- Whittier Law School News and Announcements[dead link]
- Dean's Letter to Community[dead link]
- Dean's Letter to Community
- ABA Accreditation Standards
- Whittier Law School, quoting Princeton Review, Best 172 Law Schools: 2011 Edition quotes
- Weyenberg, Michelle (January 2011). "Best Law Schools for Public Interest". The National Jurist (San Diego, California: Cypress Magazines) 20 (4): 24–28
- "Law School Diversity Index". http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "Whittier Law School Chosen to Host National Diversity Seminars". Digital Journal. 19 May 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
- "Whittier Law School to Host Assessment Conference for ABA Accredited Law Schools". Sys-Con Media. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- Whittier Law Review Official Webpage
- Whittier Journal of Child and Family Advocacy Official Webpage
- Zealous Advocate Online Student Publication
- Washington & Lee Law School Law Journals Rankings
- Ranking Law Reviewing by Author Prominence - Ten Years Later
- Whittier Law Review
- Summer Abroad Programs
- "FULL - Our Coast To Keep: Environmental Law Enforcement in Southern California". www.law.whittier.edu. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- "Whittier Law School to Host Assisted Reproductive Technologies Symposium on April 17". http://www.marketwired.com/. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- The San Francisco Chronicle http://www.sfgate.com/business/prweb/article/Over-70-of-Whittier-Law-School-Graduates-Pass-4077035.php. Missing or empty
- "Tuition and Aid".
- "Whittier Profile".
- Retrieved on May 18, 2014 https://www.law.whittier.edu/index/experience/consumer-information/#da
- "Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates".
- Rosin, Gary. "Full Rankings: Bar Admission Required, Full-Time, Long Term", The Faculty Lounge, March 30, 2013. Retrieved on May 18, 2014, http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/04/a-cleaner-ranking-of-schools-long-term-full-time-employment-minus-law-school-funded-jobs.html -- For the latest Employment Summary Reports from the American Bar Association, Section of Legal Education, see http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/
- Stetz, Mike (1 May 2015). "Wake Forest, Wash U. among schools that improved employment rate the most". the National Jurist. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- THANAWALA, SUDHIN (14 June 2015). "Law schools fund firms to train recent graduates". Times Union. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- THANAWALA, SUDHIN (15 June 2015). "Law Schools Create 'Minor League' To Train Recent Graduates". Huffington Post. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
- "Judge Martha Bellinger to Retire at End of July". Metropolitan News-Enterprise. 31 May 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- Bellinger, Martha E. (2010). From Robe to Robe A Lesbian's Spiritual Journey. Trafford. ISBN 1426933487.
- "About OSHAB". www.dir.ca.gov. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- http://www.courts.ca.gov/2380.htm. Retrieved 22 March 2015. Missing or empty
- "Judge Geoffrey FISH Seal of the Superior Court in Maricopa County, State of Arizona Current Assignment: Family Department". http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- . LA TIMES. 10 August 2001 http://articles.latimes.com/2001/aug/10/local/me-32660. Retrieved 23 March 2015. Missing or empty
- (PDF) http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/Miriam_Vogel_6392.pdf. Retrieved 22 March 2015. Missing or empty
- OKAMOTO, SHERRI M. (June 25, 2008). "Court of Appeal Justice Miriam Vogel Sets July 3 Retirement". Metropolitan News-Enterprise. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- "Carol Ann Abrams dies, Producer, author was mother of J.J. Abrams". Variety Magazine. 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- www.law.whittier.edu https://www.law.whittier.edu/index/news/article/alumnus-ethan-d.-baker-class-of-2006-runs-for-state-senate-in-michigan. Retrieved 3 April 2015. Missing or empty
- http://www.buccaneers.com/team-and-stats/staff.html. Retrieved 22 March 2015. Missing or empty
- Yasinskas, Pat. "Tampa Bay Buccaneers ownership at a glance". ESPN. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- "Zapata Corporation Announces the Results of 2009 Annual Meeting of Stockholders and Certain Other Events". HRG Group. Jul 9, 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- SBA Records
- "Executive Committee and Board of Trustees". Los Angeles County Bar Association. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- "Christine Jones '97 Runs for Governor of Arizona". https://www.law.whittier.edu/resources/news/December2013/feature.html. law.whittier.edu.
- "Subscribe to our News RSS Featured Story Lerner to serve as general counsel at Seminole State". 6 Nov 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0558483/?ref_=fn_al_nm_2. Retrieved 23 March 2015. Missing or empty
- Arévalo, Penny (22 July 2014). "OBIT: James R. Mathers, Founder of Studio City-Based Writers Group". Studio City Patch. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- "Founder's Message". http://www.usfingerprinting.com/. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- "Tom Taulli". amazon.com. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- "Option Taxes". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 10 April 2015.