The Whittier Experience

Consumer Information

ABA Required Disclosures — Consumer Information
About Whittier Law School Demographics Financial

ABA Reports

Curriculum Policies and Resources Employment/Bar Passage

About Whittier Law School

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’s Rights, 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:

Office of the Managing Director
Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
American Bar Association
321 N. Clark Street, 21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 312.988.6738
Fax: 312.988.5681

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.

AALS Membership

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

The Statement of Accreditation Status can be seen here.

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Physical Facilities

Whittier Law School, 3333 Harbor Boulevard, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, is conveniently located on 14 spacious acres in Orange County California, just two blocks off the Harbor Boulevard exit of the 405 freeway. The law school two miles from South Coast Plaza and five miles from Newport Beach. Our facility is comprised of four main buildings with a large outdoor quad in between.

Building 1 houses many of our administrative offices that include the Dean’s Suite with offices for the Dean and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs; and offices for Student and Alumni Relations, Communications, Bar Preparation and Academic Support departments. Building 2 houses faculty offices, the Admissions Office, the Registrar, Business Office, and Career Development. Buildings 3 holds classrooms, offices for our three clinics, a student lounge, student study area, student organization meeting rooms, and the cafeteria. Building four contains the Kiesel Advocacy Center, our new courtroom, a bookstore, and our public law library, which is the largest law library in Orange County in terms of volumes and square footage.

Facilities include:

  • Brand new state-of-the-art courtroom, jury deliberation room and judge’s chambers
  • 40,000 square foot Law Library with seating for 350 students, numerous individual study carrels, and 14 group study rooms
  • 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 2013-2014 Whittier Law School Policies please click here.

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Admissions and Enrollment Data

  Class of 2013 Class of 2014 Class of 2015 Class of 2016
Application Count 2165 2245 1889 1579
Matriculated 303 272 227 221
Of the students that were admitted and enrolled:
  Class of 2013 Class of 2014 Class of 2015 Class of 2016
Female 129 131 116 117
Male 174 143 111 104
Students of color* 134 138 109 116
75th percentile LSAT 154 154 153 152
25th percentile LSAT 150 149 148 145
75th percentile GPA 3.28 3.21 3.22 3.26
25th percentile GPA 2.75 2.66 2.70 2.61
Median Age 27 27 26 25
**Age Range 23-60 21-56 21-56 21-56

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 10-23-2013

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Student Body Diversity

  Full Time Students Part Time Students
Female 208 98
Male 197 76
Hispanic/Latino 59 27
American Indian or Alaska Native 7 3
Asian 74 30
Black or African American 22 13
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 6 1
White 190 78
Multi-Cultural 0 0
Race and Ethnicity Unknown 38 17

Information updated on 10-31-2013

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Class Year Involuntary* Transfer Voluntary Withdrawal
2010-2011 99 students 32 students 3 students
2011-2012 57 students 36 students 11 students
2012-2013 46 students 29 students 13 students

*Academic disqualification

Information updated on 10-23-2013

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Composition and Number of Faculty and Administrators

As of the Fall 2012 semester, Whittier Law School employs the following:

  • 25 full-time faculty members (full-time tenured, tenure-track, 405c, visitors, and administrators who hold any sort of faculty rank)
  • 24 part-time faculty members (adjunct professors)
  • 7 administrators (Deans or Directors who do not teach or hold faculty rank)
  • 19:1 student to faculty ratio

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 10-23-2013

Degrees Awarded/Graduation Rates

Class of 2013 Degrees Granted: 204 Juris Doctor Degrees
Graduation Rates:

  • 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)

Includes Dec. 2012, May 2013 and August 2013 graduates.

Information updated on 10-31-2013

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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 7/11/2013

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
2012 0 0
2011 0 0
2010 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) 57
Number of course titles, beyond the first year curriculum, offered last year 117
Number of upper division course sections with an enrollment  
  Under 25 103
  25 to 49 29
  50 to 74 19
  75 to 99 3
  Over 100 1
Number of positions available in simulation courses 870
Number of positions filled in simulation courses 678
Number of faculty-supervised clinical course titles 9
Number of positions available in faculty-supervised clinical courses 102
Number of positions filled in faculty-supervised clinical courses 66
Number of field placement positions filled 220
Number of students who enrolled in independent study 23
Number of students who participated in law journals 184
Number of students who participated in interschool skills competitions 38

Certificates and Concentrations

The law school offers Certificates in Legal Writing, Intellectual Property, Children’s Rights International Law.

The law school offers Concentrations in Business Law, Criminal Law and Environmental Law

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 five study abroad programs in China, Spain, France, Israel and Mexico.

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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 ADA Policy Manual

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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 more than 100 hours per week. The Library provides professional services for day and evening students.

The Library contains in excess of 350,000 volumes to aid students with instruction and research, and serves as a California state and federal depository. The collection 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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Non-Discrimination Policy

Whittier College admits students of any race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin with all the rights, privileges, and activities generally accorded to or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, marital status, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, creed or religion in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, or athletic and other school‐administered programs. Whittier College does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission or access to its programs.

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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.

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Transfer of Credit Policies

Whittier Law School welcomes transfer students into our community. Applicants who have previously attended another ABA-accredited law school are eligible to apply for admission to Whittier Law School if:

  • You are in good academic standing,
  • You are unconditionally eligible for readmission at your original school, and
  • The original school is an ABA-accredited law school.
    If any of these conditions do not apply, then you may apply to Whittier Law School, but as a first-year law student. For applicants who have been academically disqualified or dismissed from another ABA law school, you cannot apply as a first-year law student until two years from the date of disqualification has passed, unless you obtain a standard 505 letter from the previously disqualified school.

Transfer Application Procedure

Transfer applicants should follow the same application procedure as for regular admission. In addition, transfer applicants seeking admission should submit the following to the Office of Admissions:

  • a completed application form through the LSAC
  • a $60 application fee
  • a brief personal statement, including reason(s) for transfer
  • a letter stating academic good standing and class rank from the Dean or Registrar at the school from which the student is withdrawing
  • a current official LSDAS/LSAT report
  • two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a law professor whose class you have taken
  • an official transcript from the law school with all first-year grades and course descriptions

Assessment Criteria for Transfer Credit

The Office of Student Affairs will assess possible transfer credit based upon a review of the official transcript submitted to the Office of Admissions by the ABA-accredited law school from which you seek to transfer. Additional information, such as applicable course descriptions from the your current law school, may be requested.

A maximum of 30 hours of course credit from another ABA law school may be transferable to Whittier Law School. Transfer credit will not be granted for any units/courses in which the you received less than a “C” or equivalent grade, based upon the grading scale of the law school from which you seek to transfer. The Whittier Law School transcript will reflect the student’s transfer credits only as units. A transfer student’s cumulative grade point average at Whittier Law School will not include the grade point average you earned at a prior school. Only the grades earned at Whittier Law School will count toward the cumulative grade point average at Whittier Law School. Moreover, once you transfer to Whittier Law School, only the Whittier Law School cumulative grade point average will determine the student’s academic status and good standing. Once admitted, in order for a transfer student to qualify for good academic standing at Whittier Law School, you must achieve a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least a 2.5 at the end of the first semester at Whittier Law School.

If you have questions concerning your transfer status, please contact the Office of Admissions. Admission decisions are made in late July or early August. Transfer students assume the risk of losing credits if, in the opinion of the Law School, the course(s) are incompatible with Whittier’s required curriculum. Whittier Law School reserves the right to refuse any part of, or all, transfer credits for advanced standing. The amount of credit an accepted applicant will receive at Whittier for completed first-year work will not exceed 30 semester units (48 quarter units).
For detailed information regarding transfer students and transfer credits, please review the Transfer Students page.

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Employment Summary Reports

Click here for Class of 2013 Employment Outcomes as reported to the ABA

Click here for Class of 2012 Employment Outcomes as reported to the ABA
Click here for Class of 2012 Employment Outcomes as reported to NALP

Click here for Class of 2011 Employment Outcomes as reported to the ABA
Click here for Class of 2011 Employment Outcomes as reported to NALP

Click here for Class of 2010 Employment Outcomes as reported to the ABA
Click here for Class of 2010 Employment Outcomes as reported to NALP

Bar Passage Data

Month/Year CA 1st Time Rate Out of State 1st Time Rate
July 2012 70% 75%
February 2013 55% 100%
July 2013 65% 89%
  • 184 students took the July 2013 Bar Exam
  • 9 students took the July 2013 Bar Exam out of state
  • 1 student took the February 2013 Bar Exam out of state
  • 142 students took the July 2012 Bar Exam
  • 8 students took the July 2012 Bar Exam out of state
  • 11 students took the February 2012 Bar Exam

Updated as of 8/6/13