About Western State

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About Western State

Western State College of Law, Irvine CA

Western State College of Law, Irvine CA

Founded in 1966, Western State College of Law is the oldest law school in Orange County, Southern California, and is a fully ABA approved for-profit, 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.

2012 Judges' Night

2012 Judges’ Night

2013 Young Alumni Mixer

2013 Young Alumni Mixer


Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach

Mt. Baldy

Mt. Baldy

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.


Professor Philip Merkel

Professor Philip Merkel

A Close-knit Family Environment from Admission to Graduation

Western State’s culture engenders a supportive environment among students, faculty, and staff

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.”
Rhonda Cohen

Director of Admissions , Class of 1984

“I had become so close with my professors that, after I graduated, we immediately went on a first name basis relationship.”
Sabrina Narain, Esq.

Class of 2014

Preparation for Incoming 1Ls

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.

Prospective Students About Us

“Our program is there to help the transition into law school go as smoothly as possible.”
Professor Jennifer Koh

Prospective Students

Jacqueline Salazar(’13), Daren Gottlieb (’13), and Kurtis Urien (’13)

Preparation for the Bar Exam

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.

Basic Bar Studies was designed to complement and reinforce the 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.


About Us

Practical Experience in the Classroom

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.

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.”
Deirdre Kelly

Assistant Dean, Career Development


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.

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 success 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

Dean Allen Easley

Dean Allen Easley


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Founded in 1966, Western State College of Law is the oldest law school in Orange County, Southern California, and is fully ABA approved. Western State College of Law’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.

Programs, credential levels, technology and scheduling options are subject to change. Western State College of Law at Westcliff University, 16715 Von Karman, #100, Irvine, CA 92606 © 2020 Western State College of Law. All rights reserved. Our email address is materialsreview@wsulaw.edu.

See wsuprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.