Whittier Law School Students Frequently Asked Questions

What is the plan going forward for current Whittier Law School students?

We are working diligently to finalize the details of the plan and have been in communication with the ABA during this process. Here is what we can share so far:

  • We will continue to operate the law program on the Costa Mesa campus through at least the end of the 2017-18 academic year. We are committed to ensuring that all current students – from 1Ls to 4Ls – have the opportunity to complete their law degree in a timely fashion, in the current location or elsewhere. For the students who will remain after next year, we are exploring whether to continue to offer needed classes and services on the Costa Mesa campus in the fall of 2018 or on another convenient campus or other location. We will share that information as this process continues.
  • Summer study abroad programs will proceed as planned this summer.
  • Bar preparation programming will proceed as planned this summer on the Costa Mesa campus.

Will there be summer courses?
Yes, classes are offered this summer; you may find information about summer classes on the website.

Will there be Intersession courses next winter?
Yes, Winter Intersession courses are being offered, subject to cancellation due to low enrollment.

May students continue to sign up for concentrations?
Yes. Students are advised to sign up for concentrations this summer, to aid planning for needed courses. We cannot guarantee that all courses now listed will be available throughout the time students are earning their degree from the Law School.

Does the College intend to allow students who earn merit scholarships following the 1L year to maintain these scholarships?
Students who have earned a merit scholarship as a result of being in the top 20% during the 1L year will continue to receive that scholarship as 2Ls, 3Ls, and 4Ls, as long as they remain in good standing at WLS.

Where will student study space be located?
After Commencement on May 13, 2017, the individual study spaces now located in Building Two will be relocated to two areas – a series of individual study rooms in the Café and in the rear portion of the Library.

Who will teach courses? Will the quality of teaching be maintained?
We are currently developing the plan for course offerings and instructors, which will be part of the application for approval by the ABA and WASC. As the number of courses needed is reduced, we expect that the current faculty size will also reduce. Classes will continue to be taught by qualified instructors.

Will the Law School continue to offer students the opportunity to participate in student organizations and honors activities (e.g., Moot Court)?
Yes, we will continue to offer opportunities for such participation.

Will the policies about academic disqualification, the Mastery Curriculum, and grading remain the same going forward?
The faculty has affirmed its commitment to the existing disqualification, Mastery Curriculum, and grading policies. Should policy changes occur, we will inform students promptly. Please see Dean Radha Pathak for all questions of this nature.

What does my future look like if I stay at WLS?
We are committed to offering students the opportunity to complete their JD degree in a timely fashion and will offer needed classes and support services. We may, at some point and due to low enrollment, arrange for students to complete classwork with the help of another law school.

You say that students will be afforded the opportunity to complete their JD in a timely fashion. What does “timely fashion” mean?
We have completed one “degree audit” on currently enrolled students, and will complete another one when grades for the spring semester have been entered. Degree audit information helps us identify needed courses going forward. At an appropriate time, we will work with each student to determine the route and likely time for degree completion. We also will confer with the ABA and WASC accreditors to determine the appropriate time period to continue to offer the program.

What if I want to transfer to another Law School?
If you wish to transfer to another law school, we will assist you. Please contact Associate Dean Tom McColl, tmccoll@law.whittier.edu; he stands ready to advise you.

What if I had to take a leave of absence and now I need to return?
The Associate Dean and Director of Student Relations are available to counsel students on both academic and personal issues. To make an appointment please email Radha Pathak, rpathak@law.whittier.edu, or Trenise Bates, tbates@law.whittier.edu, or call 714.444.4141 ext 127.

What if I’m currently on academic probation or on a leave of absence?
The Associate Dean and Director of Student Relations are available to counsel students on both academic and personal issues. To make an appointment please email Radha Pathak, rpathak@law.whittier.edu, or Trenise Bates, tbates@law.whittier.edu, or call 714.444.4141 ext 127.

Will counseling services continue to be available through the July bar?
Expanded counseling services will continue to be offered for free to students through July. Dean Radha Pathak will have the schedule and location.

What if I have questions about financial aid (loan repayment, tuition, etc.)?
Students with any questions regarding financial aid should continue to direct those questions to Ivan Noe at the Office of Financial Aid for assistance: financialaid@law.whittier.edu or (714) 444-4141 ext. 203.

POST-GRADUATION /ALUMNI

Will I be able to sit for the bar exam after the Law School program is discontinued?
Yes. Graduates with a JD degree from schools approved by the ABA are eligible to take the bar in any jurisdiction, including California (http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Requirements.aspx). Your matriculation at Whittier Law School, which is approved by the ABA, means that once you graduate, you are so eligible. For other requirements, please check the website of the jurisdiction in which you plan to sit.

Where will I obtain transcripts after the Law School program is discontinued?
Your educational records will be kept intact and transferred to the College after the program is discontinued. In the future, should you wish to obtain a transcript, it will be available from the Registrar’s Office at Whittier College.

Will there be career services available to WLS graduates?
Long after the law program is discontinued, we want you to be able to call upon our accomplished and caring alumni body. Alumni have pledged their support during this transition, including helping you network and find employment opportunities. Other services in the area of alumni relations and career development will be made available to you at the College as well.

Will the email @poets.whittier.edu continue to operate for WLS graduates?
Email accounts will stay active and accessible to all graduates.

If I have additional questions, where should I send them?
Please send questions to wlsinfo@whittier.edu and we will get in touch with you personally or, for questions of general interest, we will add to this FAQ sheet.

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