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A student in the library

A lot of schools say they are committed to excellence, but what does that mean?

At California Western, it means that we expect a lot of our students. We don’t settle for just getting by, and neither should you.

In our 95-year history we’ve taken a chance on students for whom standardized test scores don’t tell the whole story. We take a chance on students who demonstrate an unyielding passion to become outstanding lawyers.

We’ve found that when we take that chance, and match that passion with expectation and support, our students exceed our—and their—expectations.

We also expect a lot of ourselves.

We expect to support you in your journey toward a career in law.

  • Our nationally recognized faculty members are leaders in key areas of the law, including international law, law of the sea, health law, internet law, criminal law, and more. In addition to their scholarly work, they work closely with students to match personal values and ambition to courses, clinics, and experiential programs. Their goal? To help you develop your professional identity.
  • Our first-year Legal Skills curriculum teaches the fundamental skills of being a lawyer, not just the theory of law. You’ll work closely with faculty members and fellow students as you take your first steps toward the legal profession.
  • Our Career and Professional Development staff works with each student to design a personalized approach to developing the skills and experience necessary to succeed in early practice. We expect to see you often, in the office, on campus, and at legal and professional events.
  • Our Clinical Externship Program offers you the chance to work up to 40 hours per week side by side with real attorneys and clients. We don’t expect you to do it alone. You’ll meet regularly with a full-time faculty member to discuss your experiences.

How do we know our approach works?

Employers tell us so. Our students and graduates exceed their expectations.

  • On the Bar Exam: Our graduates consistently meet or exceed the statewide average for ABA approved law schools. We’ve been recognized by National Jurist magazine as being among the best schools in the U.S. for bar preparation, as a function of LSAT scores.
  • In judicial externships and post-bar clerkships: The number of California Western graduates in prestigious judicial externships and Public Defender post-bar clerkships in San Diego far exceeds what you would expect of a small law school. These employers know that our graduates are experienced and prepared.
  • In practice: We count among our alumni more than 130 members of the judiciary, partners in national law firms, elected officials, corporate counsels, entrepreneurs, and more.