California Western School of Law holds a storied place in San Diego history. Originally founded as a night-bar preparation program at San Diego High School in the 1920s, the school has helped prepare some of the region’s top attorneys and judges.

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Today, the independent, ABA-accredited law school complements the traditional curriculum with innovative programs that advance a student’s educational experience and capacity to enter the legal profession with superior training.

Key to that training is the many hands-on training opportunities available to students, including seven faculty-led clinics and more than 40 experiential courses. During their second year, students participate in simulation course modeling a small law office and led by a practicing member of the San Diego bar. They draft motions, interview simulated clients, and produce the real work attorneys do in practice.

In their third year, more than two-thirds of the students participate in the Clinical Internship Program, through which they can work up to 40 hours per week in a law office or agency, working side-by-side with attorneys producing real legal work.

Students work side-by-side with practicing attorneys through the Clinical Internship Program.
Students have access to individual career counseling through the Career and Professional Development Office.

In addition to preparing students for practice, California Western’s clinics—including the California Innocence Project, Community Law Project, Mediation Clinic, and Traffic Court Clinic — serve the community and help connect individuals with free and low-cost legal assistance.

The school’s pro bono and public service work has been recognized with numerous state and national awards including pro bono awards from the California State Bar and Super Lawyers magazine. The law school has been named to President Barack Obama’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and Honor Roll with Distinction in each of the past five years.

The law school’s trial and oral advocacy teams are nationally recognized. This team was ranked “best in San Diego” in 2014.
The California Innocence Project at California Western School of Law has freed 15 people who were wrongfully incarcerated and is one of the best-known innocence projects in the nation.

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