In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M., LL.M. in Entertainment Law, and LL.M. in Taxation, and Prosecutional Science for the tax program. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 8 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration) and J.D./M.F.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Fine Arts in film and television).
The School of Law offers concentrations in entertainment law, environmental law, international law, tax law, land use/real estate, and advocacy and dispute resolution. In addition, a U.S. Tax Court Clinic, Constitutional Jurisprudence Clinic, Family Violence Clinic, and Elder Law Clinic are available for students for varying academic credit. A variety of seminar-type courses for upperclassmen is offered, ranging from 2 to 4 credits. Various externship opportunities, including judicial externships, are available to students in good standing; credits vary with a maximum of 10 total. Special lecture series include the Distinguished Jurist in Residence Program, open to all students for no credit. There is a study-abroad program in England. The Academic Achievement Program offers lectures and workshops, individualized tutoring for students, and referrals to university or outside programs or support services designed to meet identified special student needs. The most widely taken electives are Externship, clinical course work, and Wills and Trusts.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 88 total credits, of which 51 to 52 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure I and II, Contracts I and II, Criminal Law, Legal Research and Writing I and II, Property I and II, and Torts I and II. Required upper-level courses consist of a writing requirement, Constitutional Law I and II, Corporations, Evidence, Federal Income Tax, Lawyering Skills, and Professional Responsibility. The required orientation program for first-year students lasts approximately 3 days and includes an introduction to the process of legal education and analysis, professionalism, legal education in practice, as well as informal, social events and information sessions on navigating through the law school experience.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0, have completed the upper-division writing requirement, and have satisfied ABA residency requirements.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 2386 applied, 902 were accepted, and 192 enrolled. Six transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 72; the median GPA was 3.38 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 30; the highest was 96.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. Minimum acceptable GPA is 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. The most important admission factors include undergraduate curriculum, writing ability, and academic achievement. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is April 15. Applicants should submit an application form, transcripts, a personal statement, TOEFL, where indicated, a nonrefundable application fee of $65, 2 letters of recommendation submitted to LSDAS (maximum 3), a personal statement, r
About 92% of current law students receive some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $46,028; maximum, $55,636. Awards are based on need and merit, along with merit based scholarships and loans based on need. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is March 2. Students receive an offer of aid after an offer of admissions is made provided the application is complete.
About 49% of the student body are women; 27%, minorities; 1%, African American; 16%, Asian American; 9%, Hispanic; and 1%, Native American. The majority of students come from California (85%). The average age of entering students is 24; age range is 20 to 41. About 47% of students enter directly from undergraduate school and 6% have a graduate degree. About 10% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 82% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the The Chapman Law Review, Nexus, A Journal of Opinion, and the student newspaper, The Chapman Law Courier. Moot Court competitions include ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, Traynor Moot Court, and Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition. Other competitions include American Trial Lawyers Association Competition, Vis International Arbitration Competition, International Arbitration Competition, ABA Client Counseling Competition, National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition, National Moot Court Competition, and Luke Charles Moore Invitational Moot Court Competition. Student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include the Student Bar Association, International Law Society, Minority Law Students Association, Land Resources Society, Tax Law Society, Entertainment and Sports Law Society, Public Interest Law Foundation (NAPIL), Phi Alpha Delta, and National Lawyers Guild.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered both day and evening and beyond the first year curriculum and must be completed within 5 years. For part-time students, courses are offered days only and must be completed within 6 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is a 7-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.