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Western State University College of Law

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Western State University College of Law
Established 1966
School type Private
Dean Maryann Jones
Location Irvine, CA, US
Enrollment 200
Faculty 21 (See List)
USNWR tier Tier 4
Annual tuition $24,600
Outlines 0 (See List)
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Western State University College of Law is located in Irvine, CA

Western State University, College of Law (WSU) is a for-profit, American law school in Fullerton, California. It is the oldest law school in Orange County, with over 10,000 alumni.


Western State University College of Law was founded in 1966 and is the oldest law school in Orange County. Western State University College of Law is recognized for its diverse student body with more than 40% minority enrollment. For two consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report rated Western State University #1 in its law school diversity index. Its nearly 9,000 graduates include hundreds of prosecutors and public defenders throughout the state, more alumni on the judicial bench in the region than any other law school, and countless professionals in private practice, in administrative and government positions within state and local bar, and in a number of diverse ethnic and gender-related organizations. The school’s graduates are well represented in other counties of Southern California and can be found across the country and beyond.

Western State University College of Law is owned by Education Management Corporation, one of the largest providers of private post-secondary education in North America, based on student enrollment and revenue. Student enrollment exceeded 66,000 as of fall 2004.

Western State University College of Law was founded in 1966. Western State offers both full- and part-time programs. It is located across the street from California State University, Fullerton.


These methods include much small group instruction, individualized support, and the application of new techniques now made possible through technology. The school offers a legal education aimed at both teaching law and practice skills as well as helping the student become a better professional. Traditional classroom studies are combined with computerized technology and Internet-based educational forums to help students learn more efficiently and effectively.

Criminal Law Center

Western State University alumni are found, in ever increasing numbers, in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino County prosecutor and public defender offices. In Orange County alone, Western State University alumni/ae make up practically one-third of the 250+ deputy district attorneys and almost one-fourth of the deputy public defenders. A very significant number of alumni/ae are engaged in the private practice of criminal law throughout Southern California. Because of the influence the law school has on the practice of criminal law in Southern California, the Criminal fLaw Practice Center was established to provide additional educational and practical opportunities for its students and alumni/ae.

The Criminal Law Practice Center is a program that expands the teaching of criminal law far beyond the traditional law school curriculum. The Center brings together in the law school legal scholars, judges, practicing criminal defense attorneys, prosecutors, legislators, law enforcement officers, and community leaders who contribute a tremendous amount of experience and diversity of perspectives to the educational experience of students. The Criminal Law Practice Center offers legal externships to provide students with real-world experience while attending law school.

Business Law Center

The Business Law Center at Western State University offers students strong academic and practical preparation for legal careers advising corporate entities, small businesses and entrepreneurs in all aspects of business law. Students have the opportunity to develop not only the legal knowledge but also the skills, practical experience and networking contacts they will need to pursue a successful career representing business clients.

The Certificated Course of Study Program comprises a wide range of courses relevant to business law, including required core courses and a broad range of electives such as training in advising business clients, opportunities for practical experience, including externships and internships, and seminars conducted by leading practitioners on current topics in business law.f


On February 14, 2005, Western State announced that it had been granted provisional approval by the American Bar Association.[1]. Thus, Western State University College of Law is provisionally approved by the American Bar Association ("ABA") and accredited by the Senior Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges ("WASC"). Provisional ABA approval signifies that a school is in substantial compliance with each of the ABA standards and that it has a reliable plan for bringing the school into full compliance within three years after receiving provisional approval. ABA provisional approval permits Western State University graduates to sit for the California Bar examination. In addition, graduates of an ABA (fully or provisionally) approved school may sit for the bar examination in the vast majority of states. However, the determination of qualifications and fitness to sit for the bar examination is made by the jurisdiction's bar admissions authorities, and students are encouraged to contact directly the respective body in each state of interest regarding its specific requirements.

Western State University had been previously approved from February 1998 through early August 2004, at which time the school did not receive full approval but was allowed to reapply for provisional approval on an expedited basis, resulting in the granting of provisional approval in February 2005.

National Ranking

The school is ranked as Tier 4 among law schools in the U.S., according to the 2006 US News and World Report [2]

Fact Sheet

Enrollment: 510
Median LSAT: 151
Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.12
Student Faculty Ratio: 24:1

Bar Passage Rate: 41%
Average Starting Salary : $63,100

Tuition: $24,680 [3]


Western State is owned by Education Management Corporation [4], one of the largest providers of private post-secondary education in North America, based on student enrollment and revenue. There has been some concern about a law school being run by a for-profit corporation.


External links