Areas of Concentration

In today’s competitive marketplace, specializing in a legal area is a great way to stand out. Our certificate programs help you do just that! Through our Business Law Center and Criminal Law Practice Center, you have the opportunity to focus your elective coursework during law school and receive a certificate in Business Law or Criminal Law with a distinctive notation on your transcript.

Business Law Certificate

Students who elect to complete their Business Law Certificate program will choose their upper level electives from a wide variety of business law courses ranging from Securities Regulation and International Business Transactions to Employment Law, Sports Law, Intellectual Property Law, Internet Law or Taxation, to earn a Certificate designation on their law school transcript. Led by faculty with extensive business law backgrounds and credentials such as MBAs, CPAs, patent lawyer registrations and LLMs, the Business Law Program seeks to prepare and connect students with opportunities at the nexus of law and business. For information on eligibility, requirements and coursework, contact Jacqueline Alvarino by emailing jalvarino@wsulaw.edu or calling 714-459-1196.

Criminal Law Certificate

Students who elect to complete their Criminal Law Certificate program will choose their upper level electives from a wide variety of criminal law courses ranging from Trial Practice to Juvenile Law, Domestic Violence, Civil Rights and International Human Rights or Criminal Justice Ethics to earn a Certificate designation on their law school transcript. Criminal law certificate courses are led by full time faculty who are academics with extensive criminal law experience. The adjunct faculty members include experienced prosecutors and public defenders, judges and appellate court research attorneys. For information on eligibility, requirements and coursework, contact Jacqueline Alvarino by emailing jalvarino@wsulaw.edu or calling 714-459-1196.


Practical Learning Programs

Get involved! Enrich your experience and augment your education by taking advantage of our many practical learning programs. From competition teams like Moot Court to our hands on Immigration Legal Clinic and Externships, there are exciting opportunities for everyone.

Competition Teams

Interested in trial experience? We offer three competition teams to help you hone your skills and gain experience in the courtroom: Moot Court, Negotiations, Mock Trial.

Moot Court:

Our Moot Court program encourages the development of skills in brief writing and oral advocacy and recognizes those students who excel in developing these skills. Each summer the Moot Court team will be chosen based on student's performance in their oral advocacy Legal Writing and Research classes. Qualified students are given the opportunity to participate in prestigious national Moot Court competitions. For more information about how to get involved, contact Professor Lori Roberts by emailing loroberts@wsulaw.edu or calling 714-459-1145. You may also contact Professor Kevin Mohr by emailing kmohr@wsulaw.edu or calling 714-459-1147.

Negotiations:

Every semester, the American Bar and California Bar Associations sponsor negotiation competitions between member schools in which teams of two students attempt to negotiate a resolution to a difficult legal conflict. The competitions are held at various law schools in Northern and Southern California and competing students receive travel and hotel accommodations as well as one unit of academic credit. Qualification for team membership is the completion of a course in negotiations with a course GPA of 2.8 or better. For more information about how to get involved, contact Professor Paul T. Smith by emailing ptsmith@wsulaw.edu.

Mock Trial:

Our Mock Trial team competes in a regional competition and presents on all phases of trial from Opening States, to presentation of witness testimony to Closing Argument. For more information about how to get involved, contact Professor Robert Molko by emailing rmolko@wsulaw.edu or calling 714-459-1149.

Law Review

Western State Law Review is a student-run legal journal that focuses on articles relating to California law or federal law that has a substantial impact on California. The publication is distributed both in print and online (located at LexisNexis, Westlaw and HeinOnline) to practitioners and schools throughout the world. It draws heavily on California lawyers’ work and provides exceptional opportunities to build connections with the practicing bar that can lead to important work after graduation. Law Review membership is a prestigious honor and students should strive to become part of this nationally recognized organization. Eligibility requirements apply. For more information, contact Professor Ryan Williams by emailing rtwilliams@wsulaw.edu or calling 714-459-1202.

Immigration Legal Clinic

Our in-house Immigration Legal Clinic operates like an on-site law firm where students who are certified by the State Bar of California represent real clients in real matters. While the Clinic primarily focuses on immigration, students are exposed to other issues including domestic violence, family law, criminal law, and international human rights. It is a five-credit, one semester course that provides students with hands-on skills training while responding to the pressing needs of immigrants in Orange County. Each student, along with a partner, serves as the client’s primary representative. Under faculty supervision, they interview clients, investigate and gather facts, research the relevant law, draft briefs and affidavits, file applications for relief and supporting documentation, and represent clients in immigration interviews and in court. For more information, contact Professor Jennifer Koh by emailing jkoh@wsulaw.edu or calling
714-459-1136.

Externships

We offer a variety of educational, real-world externship placements for eligible students. In addition to the time spent in their placement, student externs also meet weekly in an on-campus seminar to share and explore their placement experiences in class and gain a deeper understanding of the functions and responsibilities of attorneys, judges and other legal personnel. Externship directors screen and match placements to fit each individual student. Externships are available in civil practice, criminal law, judicial clerkships, and more. For information on civil and judicial externships, contact Professor Stephen Chavez by emailing schavez@wsulaw.edu or calling 714-459-1165. For information on criminal externships, contact Professor Robert Molko by emailing rmolko@wsulaw.edu or calling 714-459-1149.


Academic Success Program

Our S.T.E.L.L.A.R Academic Support program is devoted to providing you with instruction, assistance and encouragement to successfully complete your first year, pass the bar exam and practice in the profession.

S.T.E.L.L.A.R: Introduction to Legal Methods

Support starts early with our Introduction to Legal Methods (ILM) class, which begins a week before the start of law school. This course is designed to help you acquire the skills you need to succeed in law school. Support doesn’t end there! You will continue to meet once a week during your first semester to hone your skills and benefit from feedback to help reach your academic potential.

S.T.E.L.L.A.R: Dean’s Fellows

Sometimes it can be intimidating to reach out to faculty for support. Our Dean’s Fellows -successful second and third year students- are available to provide you with individual, peer-to-peer guidance and assistance. Each Dean’s Fellow has been selected because of their demonstrated academic success and commitment to the law school community. They are available for walk-in assistance and advice in our Student Learning Center (located on 1st floor of the library).

S.T.E.L.L.A.R: Bar Preparation

We offer elective courses like Basic Bar Studies and Solving Legal Problems to help you start early in acquiring the skills and substantive knowledge required for success on the bar exam and in the first year of practice. You will have the chance to review substantive topics, receive feedback on essay and performance exam questions and attend special workshops geared toward improving bar exam skills.



Centers & Institutes

Make real-world connections! Our centers and institute bring distinguished speakers to campus and organize activities for students with the legal community. They provide a forum for critical thinking and discussion of contemporary issues faced by current legal practitioners.

Business Law Center

The Business Law Center (BLC) provides an opportunity for you to gain the business and legal knowledge, skill sets, experiences, and contacts to begin and pursue a business law career. The BLC offers a broad curriculum of business law elective courses, classes to build legal and business skills, exposure to distinguished speakers and active practitioners, networking with alumni in the field, and meaningful practical experience through our Externship Program. Student-led activities such as the Business Law Association and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program provide leadership and public service opportunities. For more information, contact the Director of the Business Law Center, Professor David Groshoff, by emailing dgroshoff@wsulaw.edu or calling 714-459-1127.

Criminal Law Practice Center

The Criminal Law Practice Center provides students with a wide variety of criminal law-related courses as well as the opportunity to attend guest presentations and visit points of interest such as the Coroner’s office and Juvenile Hall. Students who elect to pursue a Criminal Law Certificate will earn a special certificate designation on their law school transcript, and will choose from upper level electives including but not limited to Trial Practice, Juvenile Law, Domestic Violence, National Security, and International Human Rights. These courses are often small seminars, such as the Law of Vice, which invites students to think about current policies of criminalizing or legalizing behavior such as narcotics, prostitution, and gambling. The CLPC also hosts distinguished speakers and leads events and activities throughout the academic year. Full time faculty who are academics with extensive criminal law experience lead Criminal Law certificate courses. The adjunct faculty members include experienced prosecutors, public defenders, and judges. For information on eligibility, requirements, and coursework, contact Jacqueline Alvarino by emailing jalvarino@wsulaw.edu or calling 714-459-1196.

Institute for Global Law and Policy

The Institute for Global Law and Policy invites distinguished speakers who provide up-to-date insight to our students and the local legal community on cutting-edge issues of global law. It seeks to add new value to the law and policy discourse relevant to a range of nations around the world. The Institute values both traditional and new viewpoints and strive to not only create or add to existing theories, but also to produce workable solutions to the problems addressed. For more information, contact the Director of the Institute for Global Law and Policy, Professor Myanna Dellinger, by emailing mdellinger@wsulaw.edu or calling 714-459-1201.