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University of California College of the Law, San Francisco

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University of California College of the Law, San Francisco
Established 1878
School type Public
Dean David Faigman
Location San Francisco, CA, US
Enrollment 1300
Faculty 57 (full time)
96 (part time)
(See List)
USNWR ranking 36
Bar pass rate 84%
Annual tuition
Outlines 0 (See List)
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University of California College of the Law, San Francisco is located in San Francisco, CA

University of California College of the Law, San Francisco is a law school located in downtown San Francisco, California. It was formerly known as "University of California, Hastings College of the Law" until a change to the present name on Jan. 1, 2023. It was founded in 1878 by Serranus Clinton Hastings, the first Chief Justice of California, as the first law school of the University of California (UC), and it remains affiliated with the University of California today. The University of California College of the Law, San Francisco is also commonly referred to as "UC Law SF." UC Law SF is the first and oldest law school in California, and is one of the few university-affiliated law schools in the United States which does not sit on a general university campus.


UC Law SF has a unique relationship with the University of California. When he gave $100,000 to the University of California to start the law school named after him, Justice Serranus Clinton Hastings imposed two conditions: the school must remain in San Francisco near the courts; and it could not be governed by the Regents of the University of California. Thus, the school's leader (who holds the dual titles of Chancellor and Dean) must directly obtain funds from the California Legislature, not the UC Regents, as other UC chancellors must do.[1]

In the 1960s, UC Law SF began the "65 Club," the practice of hiring faculty who had been forced into mandatory retirement at age 65 from Ivy League and other elite institutions.[2] After the passage of age discrimination laws, however, the "65 Club" slowly phased out, and UC Law SF hired its last "65 Club" professor in 1998.

Organization and structure

UC Law SF is controlled by a nine-member Board of Directors. The UC Law SF Board of Directors exists independently of, and is not controlled by, the Regents of the University of California. Pursuant to California law, eight of the directors are appointed by the Governor of California. Pursuant to the UC Law SF constitutive documents, the ninth director must be a direct lineal descendant of UC Law SF founder Clinton Serranus Hastings.

UC Law SF's detachment from the UC Regents gives it a broad degree of independence in shaping educational and fiscal policies; however, due to a shrinking California education budget, Hastings must also compete for limited educational funds against its fellow UCs. Despite the apparent competition between the UC law schools, UC Law SF has been able to maintain its traditionally high standards without having to decrease class size or raise tuition prices to higher levels than fellow UC law schools.


UC Law SF is located at 200 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.

The university spreads among three main buildings, located along the 100 block of McAllister Street, in San Francisco's Civic Center. It is walking distance from the Civic Center BART and MUNI stations. UC Law SF is commonly but affectionately derided by students and alums as being located in the ugliest corner of the most beautiful city in the world. Nevertheless, UC Law SF offers a very safe learning environment. Located within a two-block radius of the campus is the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, the California Supreme Court, the California Court of Appeal for the First District, San Francisco Superior Court, San Francisco City Hall, United Nations Plaza (and Federal Building Annex), the San Francisco Asian Arts Museum, and the San Francisco County Public Library. The heavy concentration of public administrative buildings within the Civic Center results in constant police presence in and around UC Law SF.


Hastings offers a three-year Juris Doctor program with concentrated studies available in five areas: civil litigation, international law, public interest law, taxation, and family law. Most JD students follow a traditional three-year plan. During the first year, students take required courses as well as one elective course. In the second and third years, students may take any course or substitute or supplement their courses with judicial externships or internships, judicial clinics, or study abroad. The college also offers a one-year LL.M. degree in U.S. legal studies for students holding law degrees from foreign law programs.

Hastings has one of most flexible opportunities for study abroad of any top American law school, as it approves most ABA-approved foreign study programs. This option allows students to create individual "study abroad" programs. UC Law SF's diverse student body consistently stretches the bounds of the flexible study abroad program. Students have been known to create unique study abroad arrangements with law faculties in China, Japan, India, Europe, Australia and Africa.


Inaugurated in 1997 as the publishing department at UC Law SF, the O'Brien Center publishes seven journals on various aspects of the law. The oldest journal out of the seven is the Hastings Law Journal, which was founded in 1949. The O'Brien Center also has published two books: Forgive Us Our Press Passes, by Daniel Schorr and The Traynor Reader: Essays, by the Honorable Roger J. Traynor.

Notable Alumni

Current notable faculty members

Deceased notable faculty members

Hastings in popular culture


  1. Donna Domino, “Outgoing Dean Revitalized Troubled Hastings,” San Francisco Daily Journal, 6 April 2006, 1.
  2. Charles Hillinger, "Hastings Faculty Is Anything But Retiring," Los Angeles Times, 14 December 1982, D12.

External links