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University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law


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Introduction

Located in the heart of Southern California and nestled in a beautiful and safe residential neighborhood, University of California at Los Angeles School of Law is less than seven miles from the Pacific Ocean and is housed on the UCLA campus. UCLA Law acquired and maintains its strong standing by creating pioneering academic programs, cultivating top legal scholars, and educating students who go on to be leaders in our society.

Los Angeles offers unparalleled access to numerous recreational opportunities and activities, such as sporting events, theaters, museums, and live performances. UCLA Law is close enough to the thriving metropolis of Los Angeles for students to partake in the vibrant social and cultural scene, yet secluded enough for students to focus on their legal studies. The incredible weather, the international reach of the city, and the intellectually stimulating environment all contribute to a student’s law school experience.

Curriculum

The law school offers a three-year, full-time course of study leading to a Juris Doctor degree.

First Year

Students begin their time at UCLA Law with a pioneering week-long orientation program that immerses them in the fundamentals of the law school learning process. During the first year, students take the following courses:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Property
  • Torts

In addition, 1L students take a Law Through Scholarship course, a collection of small, seminar-style courses taught by leading faculty scholars that allow students to go beyond cases and statutes and explore cutting-edge topics including environmental law, immigration, international law, food and fraud law, and science and technology.

Legal Research and Writing

Legal Research and Writing is the students’ foundational clinical course and focuses on practice-oriented legal analysis. During this yearlong course, students develop the analytical skill set needed by practicing lawyers and desired by legal employers. Students are introduced to fundamentals of legal reasoning, the structure of objective and persuasive arguments, effective written analysis, legal research methods, statutory interpretation, compelling oral advocacy, fact investigation, and negotiation. These analytical skills are taught using the clinical method, with the client’s perspective firmly in mind and with the students learning by acting as lawyers. UCLA law faculty work side-by-side with students providing detailed feedback on every Legal Research and Writing assignment they complete during the first year, and students meet individually with professors to go over this feedback. By learning how to function as practicing lawyers, students can succeed in their summer jobs, and in their careers when they graduate. Additionally, to foster a sense of community and an environment of mutual support, the Legal Research and Writing course and one of the doctrinal courses are taught in small sections in the first year.

Second and Third Years

The second and third years at UCLA Law offer a comprehensive selection of upper-division classes, clinics, and specializations that are recognized as some of the most thought-provoking and rigorous experiences for law students anywhere. Students complete a mandatory course in professional responsibility, an upper-division writing requirement, and six credits of experiential coursework; select from our extensive advanced and specialized course offerings; and have the option to complete a culminating clinical capstone experience, in which students put the skills that they have learned in skills clinics into practice. In addition, students may delve deeply into a field by pursuing one of our seven specializations, broaden their expertise with interdisciplinary coursework, and hone their skills in a large selection of superb clinical and experiential courses. Approximately two-thirds of all upper-level classes enroll fewer than 25 students, and some of the courses meet off campus, including at faculty members’ homes.

Faculty

The UCLA School of Law faculty is a treasured asset. Faculty members are leaders in their respective fields and are the mainstay of UCLA Law’s high-quality legal education programs. They are some of the finest teachers in the academy, expanding the frontiers of interdisciplinary legal scholarship. Each year, the UCLA Law faculty demonstrates the caliber of its intellectual abilities by publishing groundbreaking scholarship in leading academic journals and law reviews, and their work is widely cited.

Academic Programs, Specializations and Research Centers

UCLA Law offers seven areas of specialization. Students who specialize earn a certificate of completion as well as a JD degree. The programs supporting a specialization are:

UCLA School of Law has always emphasized progressive research on relevant topics. Research centers and programs include:

Clinical and Experiential Program

Since pioneering clinical legal education in the early 1970s, UCLA Law’s Experiential Education Program has blazed a path of innovation and excellence. Typically, there are more than 40 clinical and experiential offerings each year with approximately 1200 spots available for students. Some examples include:

  • Advanced Trial Advocacy
  • Business Deals
  • Criminal Defense
  • Documentary Film
  • Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic
  • Food Law and Policy
  • International Human Rights
  • Merger & Acquisition: Transactions
  • Music Industry
  • Sports Law Simulation
  • Supreme Court Clinic

Study Abroad

Law students may spend one semester abroad through student-exchange agreements with universities in Argentina, Australia, Austria, China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland. Some students also obtain approval for an individualized study-abroad program.

Externship Programs

UCLA Law has an extensive national and international student-externship program. The law school has developed a core group of judicial and agency externships that include externships with federal judges, government agencies, public interest law firms, and nonprofit organizations. In addition, the UCDC Program is a uniquely collaborative, full-time externship program in Washington, DC. Both full-time and part-time externships are available. Students can also propose new agency externships tailored to their academic goals.

Joint Degrees

A number of students find it advantageous to pursue formal training in another field of study concurrently with their legal training. Typically, such concurrent-degree programs lead, after four years of study, to the simultaneous award of a Juris Doctor and an advanced degree from another school or department. Formal joint-degree programs are offered in the following areas:

  • JD/MA (African-American Studies)
  • JD/MA (American Indian Studies)
  • JD/MBA (Anderson School of Management)
  • JD/PhD (Philosophy)
  • JD/MPH (Public Health)
  • JD/MPP (Public Policy)
  • JD/MSW (Social Welfare)
  • JD/MURP (Urban and Regional Planning)

Student Life and Student Activities

A collegial environment at UCLA Law also affords students many opportunities for participation and leadership in approximately 60 student organizations and 15 student-edited journals on a wide range of topics. The Moot Court Honors Program is open to all second- and third-year students and offers a large and effective program of mock appellate advocacy. The program also hosts a first-year competition, as well as the prestigious Roscoe Pound competition.

UCLA Law’s student body is composed of a diverse group of future lawyers reflecting a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. We are immensely proud of our racial diversity and long-standing commitment to diversity in legal education. Our law school celebrates a multiracial community that helps all groups bridge racial lines and is a reflection of Los Angeles, where UCLA Law is located, one of the world’s most vibrant and dynamic cities.

Housing

There are many housing options open to UCLA Law students, and the law school hosts a web-based service to help students with their roommate search. There are both university-owned and privately owned apartments from which to choose.

Career Services

The Office of Career Services provides students and alumni with professional career services and acts as a liaison between students and employers. Each first-year student is assigned a counselor who will assist him or her through all the phases of career preparation, from the first-year summer job to postgraduate employment. The office has a Director of Judicial Clerkships who is dedicated to advising and assisting students interested in pursuing postgraduate judicial clerkships, and a team dedicated to helping 3Ls and alumni secure employment.

The office coordinates on-campus interviews and off-campus career fairs with approximately 400 interviewers from law firms, corporations, government agencies, and public interest organizations visiting the school annually. The office also hosts numerous panels, programs, and events, including an annual Small/Mid-Sized Law Firm Reception, an annual Government Reception, an annual Public Interest Career Day, an Alumni Mentor Program, and several mock interview programs.

UCLA Law graduates are in high demand among employers from all major sectors of the country, with California, New York, and Washington, DC, representing the largest employment markets for our students. To support students seeking employment outside of LA, the law school sponsors spring break trips to other cities where students can network with alumni and employers, hosts employers from the Bay Area, New York, Washington, DC and other markets as part of the on-campus interview week, circulates law student resume books to employers outside of LA, and helps students who are interviewing remotely for positions in other cities.

Students and graduates seeking to pursue public interest employment can take advantage of the opportunities offered by our Office of Public Interest Programs. There is a loan repayment assistance program to increase the ability of JD graduates to pursue public service legal careers, and summer funding is available for students who want to work for a nonprofit organization or government agency.

Admission and Financial Aid

All applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college of approved standing and must take the LSAT no later than the January administration or the GRE no later than January 31. Admission is based primarily on proven outstanding academic and intellectual ability, taking into consideration standardized test scores and factors such as the breadth, depth, and rigor of the undergraduate educational program. The Admissions Committee may also consider whether economic, physical, or other hardships and challenges have been overcome. Distinctive programmatic contributions, community or public service, letters of recommendation, work experience, career achievement, language ability, and career goals (with particular attention paid to the likelihood of the applicant representing underrepresented communities) are also factors taken into consideration.

Both need-based and merit-based aid are available. All admitted students are automatically considered for merit scholarships. To apply for need-based aid, which is packaged in conjunction with merit based aid, the FAFSA and the UCLA Law Grant Application should be submitted as early as possible after January 1. UCLA Law also offers three full-tuition scholarship programs—the binding Distinguished Scholars award for students with exceptional academic and other credentials; the non-binding Achievement Fellowship, for students who have overcome significant disadvantages in their background; and the non-binding Graton Scholars program, for students who intend to pursue a career in Tribal Law.

Applicants admitted to the law school as nonresident students (for tuition purposes) are eligible to be considered for resident classification if certain eligibility requirements are met. Most nonresident law students are able to achieve residency status during the second year of law school.

Applicant Profile Not Available


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Contact Information

Law Admissions Office
71 Dodd Hall
Box 951445
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1445

Phone: 310.825.2080
Email: admissions@law.ucla.edu
Website: law.ucla.edu
ABA Data: www.law.ucla.edu/admissions/aba-required-disclosures