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About Whittier Law School Demographics Financial

ABA Reports

Curriculum Policies and Resources Employment/Bar Passage

About Whittier Law School

Whittier Law School did not admit students for fall 2017 and is no longer admitting students.

Whittier Law School was founded in 1966 as Beverly College School of Law to provide an intensive legal education program, especially for women and older students. In 1975, Beverly College joined Whittier College, a nationally recognized liberal arts college, forming Whittier College School of Law. The American Bar Association awarded full accreditation in 1985, followed by admittance to the Association of American Law Schools in 1987.

In 1997, Whittier Law School moved to Costa Mesa and on April 24, 1998, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy formally dedicated the campus. Today, the Law School is proud of its 5,000 graduates in 48 states and 14 foreign countries, its extensive international outreach and experiential learning opportunities as well as its distinguished Centers for Children and Families, Intellectual Property Law, International and Comparative Law, Concentrations in Criminal Law, Business Law and Environmental Law.

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Accreditation and Memberships

Whittier Law School is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), the Western Association of Schools (WASC) and Colleges and is a member of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS).

ABA Accreditation

Whittier Law School was the first ABA accredited law school in Orange County. The American Bar Association granted provisional accreditation in 1978, and full accreditation in 1985.

For further information regarding American Bar Association approval, please contact:

Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654-7598, 312.988.6738

WASC Accreditation

Whittier College was first accredited in 1949, and Whittier Law School has been included in that accreditation process since joining Whittier College in 1975.

The Statement of Accreditation Status can be seen here.

AALS Membership

Whittier Law School became a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in 1987.

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Physical Facilities

Whittier Law School, 3333 Harbor Boulevard, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, is conveniently in Orange County California, just two blocks off the Harbor Boulevard exit of the 405 freeway. The law school is two miles from South Coast Plaza and five miles from Newport Beach. Our facility is comprised of two connected buildings with a large outdoor quad.
The Law School’s indoor space is located in Buildings 3 and 4, which are connected to each other. Building 3 holds classrooms, the Bar Preparation and Academic Support Department, the Office of Career and Professional Development, offices for our clinics, a student lounge, student study area, student organization meeting rooms, and the cafeteria. Building 4 contains the Kiesel Advocacy Center, our courtroom, and our law library. Our administrative and faculty offices are located within the library, in close proximity to where students spend their time. Administrative offices include the office of the Dean, the Office of Student and Alumni Relations, the Registrar, and the Business Office.

Facilities include:

  • State-of-the-art courtroom, jury deliberation room and judge’s chambers
  • Academic Law Library
  • 14 classrooms with state-of-the-art technology including large tiered classrooms and smaller seminar-style classrooms
  • Campus-wide wireless internet access
  • Meeting rooms for student organizations
  • Outdoor space for barbecues and student events

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Whittier Law School Policies

For a complete handbook of 2017-2018 Whittier Law School Policies please click here.

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Admissions and Enrollment Data

The law school did not matriculate an incoming 1L class for the 2017 academic year.

Year Entering 2013 2014 2015 2016
Application Count 1579 1352 1140 934
Matriculated 221 239 146 132
Of the students that were admitted and enrolled:
Year Entering 2013 2014 2015 2016
Female 117 134 85 79
Male 104 105 61 53
Students of color* 116 129 74 85
75th percentile LSAT 152 150 150 149
50th percentile LSAT 149 146 148 146
25th percentile LSAT 145 143 146 144
75th percentile GPA 3.26 3.18 3.24 3.10
50th percentile GPA 3.0 2.9 2.85 2.85
25th percentile GPA 2.61 2.62 2.59 2.62
Median Age 25 25 24 25
**Age Range 21-56 21-57 21-48 21-44

LSAT/UGPA percentiles were calculated by the Law School Admission Council based on matriculant lists provided by Whittier Law School to the ABA.

*Students of color – represents all non-white/Caucasian students. This statistic EXCLUDES any students that decline to state their ethnicity. This statistic INCLUDES any students that specified more than one ethnicity/race where at least one ethnicity/race was non-white/Caucasian.

**Age – based on 09/01 of the entering year.

Information updated on 12-13-2017

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Student Body Diversity

  Full Time Students
Female 62
Male 92
Hispanic/Latino 53
American Indian or Alaska Native 2
Asian 12
Black or African American 16
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 1
White 50
Multi-Cultural 5
Race and Ethnicity Unknown 12
Non-Resident Alien 3

Information updated on 12-15-2017

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Class Year Involuntary* Transfer Voluntary Withdrawal
2013-2014 46 students 27 students 9 students
2014-2015 52 students 25 students 9 students
2015-2016 34 students 28 students 7 students
2016-2017 11 students 78 students 7 students

*Academic disqualification

Information updated on 12-13-2017

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Composition and Number of Faculty and Administrators

In 2017-2018, Whittier Law School employs the following:

  • 15 full-time faculty members (full-time tenured, tenure-track, other, and administrators who hold any sort of faculty rank)
  • 20 part-time faculty members (adjunct professors)
  • 8 administrators (Deans or Directors who do not teach or hold faculty rank)
  • 1 Professional Librarian

For more information regarding our faculty, visit the Whittier Law School Faculty page. For more information regarding our administrative staff, visit the Whittier Law School Staff Directory.

Information updated on 12-13-2017

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Financial Aid Resources and How to Apply

Whittier Law School has a longstanding tradition of administering a financial assistance program to help students pay for their legal education. The Law School adheres to a “need-blind” admissions policy, admitting the best students regardless of family financial strength. Each year, the Office of Financial Aid delivers financial assistance to more than 80 percent of the student body with numerous resources such as scholarships, fellowships, work-study, and student loans. In addition to managing the delivery of all types of financial aid funds, we offer law students financial services in the form of loan counseling, advice on maintaining financial aid eligibility and specialty information workshops. Prospective and current students with any questions or financial aid counseling needs should contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance.

Visit the Financial Aid page for more information on application procedures, tuition and aid, scholarship programs, fellowships and grants, federal work study program, loan programs, and external awards.

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Tuition, Fees, and Living Costs

Whittier Law, like many other law schools, uses a standard single budget for the cost of attendance which applies to all students. For the purpose of aid verification, the cost of attendance is normally based on a nine-month period for fall and spring semesters.

Please review the Financial Aid Tuition and Aid page for more information regarding living expenses and books and resources.

Updated 12-13-2017

Tuition Refund/Credit Policy

For detailed information regarding the tuition refund policy including a schedule, please visit the Business Office refund policy.

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Conditional Scholarships

Students Matriculating in # Entering with Conditional Scholarships # Whose Conditional Scholarships Have Since Been Reduced Or Eliminated
2017 0 0
2016 0 0
2015 0 0
2014 0 0
2013 0 0

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Curricular Offerings

Course Catalog

For detailed information regarding our course offerings, please review the Course Catalog.

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Academic Requirements

Whittier Law School has an innovative curriculum designed to prepare students for the practice of law at the highest levels of the profession. The first-year JD curriculum teaches students areas of legal doctrine traditionally taught in the first year, but in an innovative way that focuses on teaching methods of legal analysis and skills that all lawyers use.

For detailed academic requirements, please review Degree Requirements.

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Class Sizes and Offerings

Typical first-year section size (excluding Legal Research & Writing)   51
Number of course titles, beyond the first year curriculum, offered last year   85
Number of upper division classroom course sections with an enrollment
  Under 25   147
  25 to 49   33
  50 to 74   8
  75 to 99   2
  Over 100   0
Number of positions available in simulation courses   330
Number of positions filled in simulation courses   685
Number of seminar positions filled   327
Number of law clinics   8
Number of seats available in the law clinics identified above   54
Number of seats filled in the law clinics identified above   26
Number of field placement positions filled   153
Number of students who enrolled in independent study   12
Number of students who enrolled in law journals   184
Number of students who participated in interschool skills competitions   42

Information updated on 12/13/2017

Certificates and Concentrations

The law school offers Certificates in Legal Writing, Intellectual Property, Child and Family Law and International Law.

The law school offers Concentrations in Business Law, Criminal Law, Environmental Law and Trial and Appellate Practice.

For more information, view a full listing of our Centers and Programs

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Foreign Legal Study

Whittier Law School does not permit its students to study at foreign law schools, with the exception of courses offered by an ABA-approved law school through its study-abroad program including Whittier Law School’s study abroad program in China.

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Policies and Resources

Students with Disabilities

Whittier Law School’s policy and practice is to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and state and local requirements regarding students and applicants with disabilities. Under these laws, no qualified individual with a disability shall be denied access to, or participation in, services, programs and activities of the Law School.

It is the policy of the Law School that otherwise qualified students who have disabilities shall be given reasonable accommodations, including academic adjustment and auxiliary aids, where appropriate, necessary to ensure access to the school’s overall educational program. Individual students receive reasonable and necessary accommodations, including adjustments and aids, based on specific information and assessment data documented by a qualified professional.

For a full written policy about student with disabilities please visit the Disability Accommodations page of our website and review the Policy for Students and Applicants with Disabilities.

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Privacy of Student Records/FERPA

Whittier Law School fully abides by The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.

For full statement of FERPA and Whittier Law School policies please visit the Registrar’s site on FERPA Yearly Notification.

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Library Resources

Whittier’s Law Library is open 82 hours per week. The Library provides professional services for all students.

The Library contains 700,000 volumes and volume equivalents to aid students with instruction and research, and includes materials in print, on laser disc, and on microform. Printers are available for the microform materials. Low-cost photocopiers are located in two alcoves in the library. For more information visit the Law Library website

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Policy of Non-Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct, Including Sexual Harassment

Whittier College (the College) is a community of students, faculty, staff and administrators dedicated to teaching, learning, service and scholarship. To accomplish this goal, Whittier College is committed to providing an educational and employment setting that is respectful and will not tolerate discrimination and harassment. To actualize this commitment, the College provides an environment which encourages intellectual exploration in the context of a supportive community. The work and academic environments must be ones in which employees and students can pursue their work free from coercion, intimidation, and exploitation. Discrimination undermines the community that the College seeks to maintain and, therefore, it is dedicated to an environment free of discrimination and harassment.

Whittier College and its Law School admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability or age to all the rights, privileges, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, creed or religion, national/ethnic origin, marital status, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender expression, military status, and disability in the school environment, including all academic, extra-curricular, school-sponsored activities, administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, or athletic and other school-administered programs. The Law School follows the Whittier College Non-Discrimination Policy.

Under the regulations promulgated under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, discrimination prohibited under that Act applies to, among other things, sexual misconduct which also includes sexual harassment. There are many types of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment, all of which constitute unacceptable behavior. For definitions of the type of behavior prohibited as well as grievance procedures and resources for counseling and other services, visit the Whittier College Sexual Misconduct Policy.

If any member of the Law School community feels that he/she is the victim of sexual misconduct, becomes aware of any violation or potential violation of this policy, or has questions about this policy or what might constitute prohibited sexual behavior, that individual is urged to contact a Whittier College Title IX Coordinator:

Title IX Coordinator and Complaints about Faculty, Staff and Administration
Cynthia Joseph, Director of Human Resources
Mendenhall, Lower Level, 562.907.4830, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Complaints involving Whittier Law School
Tom McColl, Associate Dean
3333 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, 714.444.4141, Ext. 283, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Law School prohibits any form of retaliation against anyone who has filed a good faith complaint under this policy or for assisting in the investigation of a complaint. Anyone who feels that he/she has been retaliated against for filing a complaint or for participating in an investigation may also make use of the complaint procedure set forth in the Whittier College Sexual Misconduct policy. False or malicious complaints of harassment, discrimination or retaliation, as opposed to complaints which are not substantiated but are made in good faith, may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

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Campus Safety

The law school is committed to maintaining a safe working environment for all faculty, staff, students, alumni and visitors.

For a full procedure and protocol report surrounding all campus safety please visit the Facilities Management Website and the Campus Safety section of the policy manual.

Campus Crime Statistics

  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Criminal Homicide 0 0 0 0 0
Sex Offenses 0 0 0 0 0
Robbery 0 0 0 0 0
Aggravated Assault 0 0 0 0 0
Burglary 0 0 0 0 0
Motor Vehicle Theft 0 0 0 0 0
Arson 0 0 0 0 0
Larceny/theft 0 0 0 0 0
Vandalism 0 0 0 0 0

Download the comprehensive Campus Safety and Security Report.

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Transfer of Credit Policies

For detailed information regarding transfer students and transfer credits, please review the Transfer Students page.

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Employment Summary Reports

Class of 2017 Employment Outcomes as reported to the ABA
Class of 2017 Employment Outcomes as reported to NALP

Class of 2016 Employment Outcomes as reported to the ABA
Class of 2016 Employment Outcomes as reported to NALP

Class of 2015 Employment Outcomes as reported to the ABA
Class of 2015 Employment Outcomes as reported to the NALP

Class of 2014 Employment Outcomes as reported to the ABA
Class of 2014 Employment Outcomes as reported to the NALP

Class of 2013 Employment Outcomes as reported to the ABA
Class of 2013 Employment Outcomes as reported to the NALP

Class of 2012 Employment Outcomes as reported to the ABA
Class of 2012 Employment Outcomes as reported to NALP

Updated as of 9/17/18

ABA 509 Reports

2016 Standard 509 Report Information
2017 Standard 509 Report Information

Bar Passage Data

Month/Year California First-Time Pass Rate / # of test takers Out of State 1st Time Pass Rate / # of test takers
July 2017 37% / 128 0% / 0
February 2017 14% / 7 0% / 1
July 2016 22% / 112 40% / 5
February 2016 25% / 12 0% / 1
July 2015 38% / 122 100% / 1
February 2015 30% / 10 66.7% / 3
July 2014 43% / 164 43% / 7
February 2014 76% / 17 100% / 1
July 2013 65% / 184 89% / 9
February 2013 55% / 10 100% / 1
July 2012 70% / 142 70% / 8

Bar Information

Updated as of 4/22/19