The J.D. Program
La Verne Law offers a model for legal education that is geared toward student success and student preparation for the rigors of the practice of Law. The rigorous academic program at La Verne Law is designed to provide grounding in legal theory, lawyering skills, and ethics, areas critical to the modern practice of law. La Verne Law graduates enter the legal profession not only with a solid comprehension of the law, but with a strong understanding of professional expectations and rules of conduct in the practice of law.
We offer both full-time and part-time programs leading to the Juris Doctor degree. The full-time program requires three years of study; the part-time program requires four years of study. Students in either program must complete 88 semester units.
The Foundational (First) Year curriculum will consist of single-semester length courses. Academic success skills will be incorporated into one course each semester (Contracts during first semester, Property second semester), as will legal writing (Torts first semester, Criminal Law second semester). Limiting all First Year courses to one semester reduces the number of courses taken by students each semester, thereby providing increased opportunity for preparation, study, and out-of-class interaction with faculty. Additionally, in the spring semester, students participate in a Court Observation Week in a small group with a faculty adviser. During that week, all first year students will observe a 3-5 day trial from start to finish. At the conclusion of the trial, the students will have an opportunity to interview the attorneys and the judge and will write a reflective essay on the experience.
Experiential Learning Year
During the Experiential Learning (Second) Year, students will take courses in a pair of experiential tracks – Transaction Practical Track and Litigation Practical Track – taught by full time and adjunct faculty members through a cooperative endeavor. The Second Year class will be split in half; one half will take one Track during fall term and the remaining Track during spring term, with the other half reversing the order. Each semester-long Track will consist of multiple courses with designated hours for credit and graded independently. The specific hours of segment instruction within each coursed will be determined by the faculty members. Many aspects of the two collective courses will be taught by adjunct professors who are judges and practicing attorneys. They will also review the students’ participation in mock trial and mock negotiation sessions. This will expose students to the legal community and provide an opportunity for them to demonstrate why they are ready for the challenges of being a practicing attorney.
The substantive subject matters covered by the different courses of each Track are tested on the California State Bar Exam. Additionally, the
Experiential Learning Year curriculum will also incorporate academic success skills and legal writing throughout.
The Enhancement (Third) Year will allow students to enhance their learning and expand their horizons by taking courses covering areas of personal interest as well as gaining valuable experience from clinics, externships and other possibilities. It also incorporates a rigorous writing, academic success, and bar preparation curriculum. Collectively, the Enhancement Year serves to transition students from academic readiness to bar readiness, allowing them to build on what they have learned, become ready to pass the bar exam and enter the legal profession.
Professional Skills Training
La Verne Law has long been a pioneer in providing practical skills training to our law students, giving them the tools they need to be practice-ready. These programs provide service to the local community and give students the opportunity to conduct research, write legal documents, and practice oral advocacy skills while working on actual cases under the supervision of knowledgeable faculty and practicing lawyers.
La Verne Law’s robust externship program places upper-division students with government agencies, public interest organizations, non-profit agencies, and judges. Our program fosters law student engagement with the legal community while helping students reflect on the work they will do as lawyers and the role they will embody when they take their place among their legal peers. Students secure placements in public interest and government offices, working closely under the supervision of an attorney. Through these placements, students can study the legal process and apply the knowledge and skills developed in law school in a practical setting.
Justice & Immigration Clinic
Our Justice & Immigration Clinic provides pro bono assistance to immigrants seeking asylum in the United States because they are suffering political, religious, and other human rights persecution in their home countries. Students participating in the clinic interview clients, find and retain experts, draft and file briefs, draft direct examinations, prepare witnesses and have a valuable opportunity to represent their client before the Immigration Court in Los Angeles.
Disability Rights Legal Center Clinic
The Disability Rights Legal Center Clinic focuses on disability civil rights litigation and special education issues for low-income and minority families. The clinic addresses some of the most extreme problems for people with disabilities in Inland Southern California, including the failure to provide free and appropriate education for students with disabilities; the treatment of youth with disabilities in the juvenile justice and foster care systems; lack of access to the justice system; and lack of access to healthcare.
In addition to the regular academic program, students are encouraged to participate in co-curricular activities to expand their legal training and understanding.
University of La Verne Law Review is the student run and student-edited scholarly publication of La Verne Law. Membership on Law Review is the result of a selective process, based on both grades and successful completion of a writing competition. Each year, Law Review members host a major symposium in additional to publishing the annual legal journal, University of La Verne Law Review.
Students at La Verne participate in several national moot court competitions each year, giving them valuable opportunities to conduct legal research, draft briefs, and present their positions before a panel of experts. Moot Court participants are selected by a faculty panel from applicants who have successfully completed an intensive course of study in advanced Appellate Advocacy. La Verne Law students participate in a myriad of competitions, including the National Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition, the National Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition, the National Juvenile Law Moot Court Competition, the National Professional Responsibility Moot Court Competition, and the National First Amendment Moot Court Competition. Our law school also supports involvement in competitions sponsored by minority bar associations, such as the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the National Black Law Students Association; and the Hispanic National Bar Association.
La Verne Law chooses members of its trial teams through a competitive intra-mural school wide competition judged by faculty members and local trial lawyers. Each year, La Verne Law enters teams in competitions such as the National Trial Team Competition, the San Diego Defense Lawyers Mock Trial Competition and the American Bar Association’s Section of Labor & Employment Law’s annual Law Student Trial Advocacy Competition.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Students who take part in the ADR Competition Team participate several times each year in local competitions and in regional competitions sponsored by the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution.
During the summer, our students can study abroad with other ABA law school study abroad programs approved by the College of Law, giving them a wider variety of study abroad program options. Credits earned over the summer transfer toward the J.D. degree. La Verne Law students expand their knowledge while attending classes in countries such Spain, England, Italy, China, Ireland, Russia, and many other locations around the globe.
Dual Degree Programs
La Verne’s College of Law and the College of Business & Public Management offer dual degree programs — the Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration (J.D. /MBA) and the Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration (J.D. /MPA). Law elective units may be earned in courses at the College of Business and Public Management after the student has matriculated at La Verne Law. An equivalent of six units can be transferred from La Verne Law toward the MBA or MPA degree, resulting in a total savings of 12 units for both programs.
Applicants must meet admission requirements for each program and should check with each College for specific entrance requirements. In most cases, students should have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.