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Western State At A Glance
Learn more about our graduates, their careers and how they are helping to shape the future.
Founded in 1966, Western State College of Law is the oldest law school in Orange County, Southern California, and is a fully ABA approved, nonprofit, private law school.
Noted for small classes and personal attention from an accessible faculty focused on student success, Western State maintains bar pass rates consistently in the top half of California’s ABA law schools.
Western State’s 11,000+ alumni are well represented across public and private sector legal practice areas, including 150 California judges and about 15% of Orange County’s Deputy Public Defenders and District Attorneys.
Exposure to real world legal settings, practical experience, and invaluable contacts with alumni practitioners—all will assist you in the transition to the job market and throughout your professional career.
Western State’s campus is located in Irvine, a suburban college town in Orange County, 44 miles south of Los Angeles and 80 miles north of San Diego. While located close to Orange County’s legal, technology, finance, and business centers, the campus is surrounded by attractive residential communities and is within commuting distance of Los Angeles as well as the Inland Empire. Western State law students and graduates have access to opportunities at nearby courts, private firms, public agencies and businesses throughout the Southland.
Orange County attractions also include Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm and national sports teams like the Angels and the Ducks. Southern California’s climate and beauty make it a highly desirable place to study, live and work.
Western State’s culture engenders a supportive environment among students, faculty, and staff. With a student body of 411, and a faculty-student ratio of 14/1, there is a better opportunity to learn more in the classroom, including the opportunity to ask questions during class to more fully explore the subject matter.
Professors’ open door policy provides real accessibility.
"My goal is to listen to each student and then respond to his or her particular questions, needs, concerns, and plans as I share information that will aid that student in making a decision about law school attendance."
"I had become so close with my professors that, after I graduated, we immediately went on a first name basis relationship."
Western State’s innovative S.T.E.L.L.A.R. Program requires students to take a course called Introduction to Legal Methods. This course begins a week prior to the first day of classes – 5 days and then one day a week for the rest of the semester. This class provides you with the skills of being a successful law student. It goes over case reading, outlining, prewriting, and final exam preparation.
"Our program is there to help the transition into law school go as smoothly as possible."
In addition to the required Bar tested courses, Western State offers an innovative and rigorous program of study that maps out the doctrine that students need to know to pass one of the hardest exams in the country: the California Bar Exam. In addition, there are two courses that help you prepare for the bar exam: Solving Legal Problems and Basic Bar Studies.
Basic Bar Studies was designed to complement and reinforce the 'Barbri' Bar Prep course materials. Students complete more than 20 essays that have previously been administered by the CA State Bar in addition to creating outlines and study tools needed for the exam.
The success of the Western State programs comes through in our numbers: in the majority of bar exams over the past four years, Western State students have met or exceeded the national average for ABA-accredited schools in California, at times outranking schools with far higher official rankings.
The Western State tradition of bringing practical experience into the classroom is at the heart of our students’ success. In many classes, students don’t just learn the law from the books, they also learn how it applies in real life.
Immigration Clinic, Certificates in Business Law, Criminal Law, Family Practice, Immigration Law and Real Estate Practice; all provide certified practical experience. Many of our faculty bring their backgrounds as practicing attorneys to the classroom. Through skills simulations, real world cases and documents, and guest speakers, they teach students the real-life version of the law in addition to the theory and doctrine.
"Our career development strategy is simple: to prepare and equip our students and graduates to identify, pursue, and achieve their career goals."
Today’s law students and graduates need to emerge from law school with the requisite knowledge, skills and contacts to face new challenges and enter a changing legal environment. I am proud to be Dean of a law school where the focus of our faculty and staff is helping our students do just that. Western State offers outstanding teaching and exceptional programs to prepare students for the demands and opportunities in their future as legal professionals...
My faculty colleagues are highly accessible and dedicated to teaching excellence; they place first priority on giving personal attention, feedback and guidance to our students. Many of our professors enhance the classroom experience by bringing examples from their prior practical legal experience, bridging the gap from theory to the realities of practicing law. Our highly effective academic success program helps students acquire the strong academic foundation required for success in law school, on the bar exam and throughout their future careers.
I also take pride in the accomplishments of our more than 11,000 graduates, from their success on the bar exam to public service contributions, citation as Super Lawyers, judicial appointments and leadership roles in the corporate, government and private sectors. Our strong alumni network provides connections and mentors in the legal community for our students as they prepare for their own future in the law.
Western State’s connections and reputation provides students with a wealth of opportunities to gain hands-on experience during law school; participation in a broad range of Externships, Immigration Clinic, Business Law Center, Criminal Law Practice Center and Moot Court enable students to find their niche, build their practical skills, and enhance their legal resume.
As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, I am proud of our diverse student body and faculty, the supportive yet rigorous learning environment we foster, and Western State’s growing reputation as a law school that effectively prepares our students for a successful future.
There has never been a better time to attend Western State. I invite you to get acquainted with our faculty, staff, students and alumni. Make an appointment to visit, sit in on a class or schedule a discussion about requirements with our admissions advisors.
Very Truly Yours,
Allen Easley, Dean