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Why California Western

There are many reasons to pursue your legal education at California Western. Here are the big ones.


Live and Learn in a Thriving City

San Diego, with its quality of life and dynamic economy,is an ideal location to launch your legal career.

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Downtown San Diego and water

San Diego is home to established industries, including defense and tourism, while leading in the burgeoning industries of biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, and medical devices.

Lightbulb shattering explosion of colors coming from it

Major firms like Qualcomm and the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences are headquartered in San Diego, increasingly recognized as a top location for innovation.

$ 82,600
Average salary for California Western graduates in private practice, 2021

Where our alumni work

  • Law firms
  • Government
  • Business
  • Public interest
  • Judicial clerkships
  • Academia
Employment statistic pie chart

Learn the Art and Science of Lawyering

Lawyering: the art and science of assisting clients. At various times in your legal career you will act as counselor, negotiator, drafter, and advocate on behalf of your clients. At the California Western School of Law, you will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill these roles ethically and competently.

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Community Law Project intern working with a client at neighborhood clinic
Our mix of academic and experiential learning allows you to identify the most meaningful career path based on your interests and goals, while also giving you the skills to be an effective, well-trained lawyer upon graduation.
On a purple background, the logo for the newly renamed California Western Innocence & Justice Clinic. California Western is in white, large lettering. Innocence & Justice Clinic are in bold orange lettering with an underline.

Doing the right thing is such a passion here that, in 1999, we founded the California Western Innocence and Justice Clinic (formerly known as California Innocence Project), which is dedicated to the release of the wrongfully convicted. We have released 40 people from prison in that time with the help of student interns.

Student talking to the mock jury in the moot courtroom

The Competitive Advocacy Team has a superlative record and gives students a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Learn more about their 2023 ABA Negotiation National Championship - and many more victories.

Community Law Project interns at neighborhood clinic

Community Law Project, 2022 California Non-Profit of the Year.


Engage with Thought Leaders

Our faculty are dedicated scholars, public intellectuals, and highly skilled teachers.

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Learn more about the latest scholarly work and media appearances from faculty.

Learn from experts

California Western is known for its close-knit learning community, which starts with a deeply committed faculty invested in the success of its students.

Faculty directory

Faculty in the Media

William Aceves with Aqeela Sherrills

William Aceves

Op-Ed: William Aceves writes on the Watts Treaty for the Los Angeles Times


LA Times

Hannah Brenner Johnson appears on CBS San Diego

Hannah Brenner Johnson

TV Interview: Hannah Brenner Johnson discusses Supreme Court confirmation process with CBS



Joanna Sax radio interview

Joanna Sax

Radio Interview: Joanna Sax on the Aftermath of Roe




Connect Legal Theory and Practice

California Western builds legal skills with a logical, intentional progression. Students are taught to translate theoretical concepts into daily application, and then given numerous opportunities to hone those skills through externships or clinics.

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Our academic program prepares students to make an impact from their first day on the job.
Two students discussion class lecture

Experiential Coursework

Our upper division curriculum includes a selection of experiential courses designed to help students prepare for success in the job search and workplace. Our experiential courses provide students with skills like interviewing, negotiating, contract drafting, and trial skills. The courses also touch on topics such as professional ethics and career satisfaction.

Experiential Learning

The line between who creates media versus who owns media is blurrier than ever before. Our partner New Media Rights supports content creators in their quests to defend their work.


Immerse Yourself in A Law School that Represents Society

California Western welcomes students from all backgrounds and creates an intellectual environment that challenges future lawyers to think about how best to pursue justice.

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Students listening to a professor during a lecture
Get a sense for our dynamic, diverse student body.

California Western School of Law is committed to building a collaborative learning and working environment that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. We believe these values affirm mutual respect and foster innovation, enabling students, staff, and faculty to fully develop and use their skills to promote positive change. We recognize and appreciate the unique contribution each person brings to our law school. We strive to create an atmosphere of open discussion, mutual respect, and dignity toward all. We also extend these values to serve our local, national, and international communities.   

Students sitting in the courtyard

Transformative Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs

Read about the largest gift in California Western’s history, which supports diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Students smiling while talking at Balboa Park

US News and World Report, Most Racially and Ethnically Diverse Law Schools