Three students studying in the library

Why California Western

There are many reasons to pursue your legal education at California Western. Here are the big ones.

1.

Live and Learn in a Thriving City

San Diego is an ideal location to launch your legal career with its quality of life and dynamic economy

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aerial image of downtown San Diego and Seaport Village
See what makes us one-of-a-kind - or even better schedule a visit
Downtown San Diego and water

San Diego is home to established industries like defense and tourism and while leading the massive growth in biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, and medical devices.

Lightbulb shattering explosion of colors coming from it

Major firms like Qualcomm and the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences are headquartered in San Diego, and it’s also known as a top location for innovation

$ 82,600
Average salary for California Western graduates in private practice, 2021

Where are alumni work

  • Law firms
    57%
  • Government
    14%
  • Business
    14%
  • Public interest
    10%
  • Judicial clerkships
    3%
  • Academia
    2%
Employment statistic pie chart
2.

Learn the Art and Science of Lawyering

Lawyering: the art and science of assisting clients. At various times in your legal career you will act as counselor, negotiator, drafter, and advocate on behalf of your clients. At the California Western School of Law, you will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill these roles ethically and competently.

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Community Law Project intern working with a client at neighborhood clinic
Our mix of academic and experiential learning allows you to identify the most meaningful career path based on your interests and goals, while also giving you the skills to be an effective, well-trained lawyer upon graduation.
Justin Brooks with freed Brian Banks client

Doing the right thing is such a passion here that in 1999 we founded the California Innocence Project, which is dedicated to the release of the wrongfully convicted. We have released 35 people from prison in that time with the help of student interns.

Student talking to the mock jury in the moot courtroom

The Competitive Advocacy Team has a superlative record and gives students a competitive advantage in the marketplace.  Learn more about their 2021 ABA Negotiation National Championship - and many more victories.

Community Law Project interns at neighborhood clinic

Community Law Project, 2022 California Non-Profit of the Year.

3.

Engage with Thought Leaders

Our faculty are dedicated scholars, public intellectuals, and highly skilled teachers

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Student raising their hand during a lecture with Professor Erin Sheley
Learn more about the latest scholarly work and media appearances from faculty

Faculty in the Media

William Aceves with Aqeela Sherrills

William Aceves

Op-Ed: William Aceves writes on the Watts Treaty for the Los Angeles Times

Publication

LA Times

Hannah Brenner Johnson appears on CBS San Diego

Hannah Brenner Johnson

TV Interview: Hannah Brenner Johnson discusses Supreme Court confirmation process with CBS

Publication

CBS

Joanna Sax radio interview

Joanna Sax

Radio Interview: Joanna Sax on the Aftermath of Roe

Publication

KCBS

4.

Connect Legal Theory and Practice

California Western builds legal skills with a logical, intentional progression. Students are taught to translate theoretical concepts into daily application, and then given numerous opportunities to hone those skills through externships or clinics.

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Two students studying in the library with a book at a desk
Our academic program prepares students to make an impact from their first day on the job
Two students discussion class lecture

STEPPS program

The STEPPS Program bridges the gap between the first-year legal skills program and third-year clinical and internship programs. Throughout the program students are prepared for success in the job search and in the workplace with services such as interviewing, career counseling, negotiation, and ethics.

STEPPS Program Overview

The line between who creates media versus who owns media is blurrier than ever before. Our partner New Media Rights supports content creators in their quests to defend their work.

5.

Immerse Yourself in A Law School that Represents Society

California Western welcomes students from all backgrounds and creates an intellectual environment that challenges future lawyers to think about how best to pursue justice.

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Students listening to a professor during a lecture
Get a sense for our dynamic, diverse student body

California Western School of Law is committed to building a collaborative learning and working environment that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. We believe these values affirm mutual respect and foster innovation, enabling students, staff, and faculty to fully develop and use their skills to promote positive change. We recognize and appreciate the unique contribution each person brings to our law school. We strive to create an atmosphere of open discussion, mutual respect, and dignity toward all. We also extend these values to serve our local, national, and international communities.   

Students sitting in the courtyard

Transformative Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs

Read about the largest gift in California Western’s history, which supports diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Scholarships

Students smiling while talking at Balboa Park

US News and World Report, Most Racially and Ethnically Diverse Law Schools