By any standard, the UCLA School of Law is recognized as one of the nation's great law schools. Each year a lively, talented, and diverse law student population assembles in a rigorous, innovative, and supportive environment. Members of the faculty frequently receive awards for teaching excellence and are highly regarded Universitywide and nationally. They also are recognized worldwide for their contributions to scholarship and law reform in a broad spectrum of fascinating fields that dramatically affect our world--constitutional law, environmental law and policy, criminal law, corporate law, employment law, international law, and intellectual property, to name a few. The structure of our democracy, the underpinnings and regulation of business, families, communities, and individual liberties, the powerless and homeless, the many permutations of a race-conscious society--all are subjects of investigation and study. Faculty members are committed to being intellectually and professionally demanding of students and humane at the same time, encouraging and fostering a genuine spirit of collaboration and community.
Law students select courses from an intellectually rich curriculum in private or public law and theory. Courses are taught in both traditional and clinical settings, with some offered as part of coordinated concurrent degree programs or specializations in Business Law and Policy, Critical Race Studies, Entertainment and Media Law and Policy, and Public Interest Law and Policy. Situated at a major gateway to the Pacific Rim, UCLA is a center of international programs; international and comparative law has become a dynamic, integral part of the law school curriculum, with courses addressing the European Union, modern Japan and China, Islam, international trade and business transactions, and a host of other related courses. Part of an outstanding research university, possessed of rich cultural resources, and located in a beautiful garden setting allowing year-round outdoor study and reflection, UCLA's extensive educational programs afford law students myriad interdisciplinary opportunities both in the classroom and through independent research.
The technologically advanced, spacious, and comfortable Hugh and Hazel Darling Law Library--replete with natural lighting and views--houses an extensive collection of legal materials. The school's nationally recognized clinical program offers sophisticated courses that help students develop applied lawyering skills, focus on solving client problems, and see in their education at UCLA more of what ultimately will face them as lawyers and policymakers. An entire wing of the Law Building is designed especially for clinical teaching and student practice and facilitates work and study in the ever-expanding clinical curriculum, which includes courses in interviewing, counseling, negotiation, business transactions, criminal and civil trial advocacy, community-based lawyering, environmental law, and poverty law practice. The first-year lawyering skills course, taught by experienced lawyers who are full-time faculty members, is truly outstanding and features interviewing and counseling of clients and drafting of legal memoranda, contracts, and "advice letters," thereby developing legal research capabilities and writing prowess.
Successful placement of UCLA law graduates reflects the school's excellent national ranking. Over 400 law firm and agency interviewers from across the nation come to UCLA annually to hire our students. UCLA graduates (more than 12,900) work in coveted positions locally and around the world, not only serving in a wide variety of public and private law practices, but as judges, business executives, writers, journalists, law professors, and academic administrators.
Law J.D./Afro-American Studies M.A.
In addition to the concurrent programs above, students may design a tailored program from other disciplines in the UCLA curriculum or from another high-quality institution; this must be arranged in consultation with the School of Law and the other selected program.
Students beginning their professional work are admitted only for Fall Semester. They must have received a bachelor's degree from a university or college of approved standing before beginning work in the school and are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
The school seeks to admit students of outstanding intellectual ability who bring a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to the classroom and the legal profession. Through long experience the faculty has concluded that the quality of the education of each student is affected in significant ways by the presence of vital diverse viewpoints. Students of all backgrounds choose to come to UCLA in significant part because of the school's outstanding achievements in creating a highly diverse educational environment.
In evaluating each applicant the school places substantial weight on traditional measures of academic ability, namely grades and LSAT scores. It also recognizes in its evaluation that other factors and attributes contribute greatly to a person's ability to succeed as a law student and lawyer. When assessing academic promise and achievement, the applicant's entire file is considered, including letters of recommendation, whether economic, physical, or other challenges have been overcome, scholarly achievements such as graduate study, awards, or publications, and the rigor of the undergraduate educational program.
In addition, the school considers attributes that may contribute to assembling a diverse class. Special emphasis is placed on socioeconomic disadvantage in the evaluation. Also considered are work experience and career achievement, community or public service, career goals (with particular attention to the likelihood of applicants representing underrepresented communities), significant hardships overcome, evidence of and potential for leadership, language ability, unusual life experiences, and any other factors (except those deemed inadmissible by The Regents or by other applicable law) that indicate the applicant may significantly diversify the student body or make a distinctive contribution to the school or the legal profession.
The UCLA School of Law has as one of its central purposes the training of attorneys who attain high levels of professional excellence and integrity and who exercise civic responsibility in myriad ways over long careers.
Detailed information about the academic programs offered by the School of Law, course titles and descriptions, fees, and the semester-system calendar by which it operates are available at http://www.law.ucla.edu.
Candidates for the degree of Juris Doctor must pursue resident law school study for six semesters and successfully complete 87 units. The residence requirements may be satisfied as follows: (1) six semesters in regular session in this school or (2) two semesters in regular session (or equivalent) in a school which is accredited by the American Bar Association, coupled with four semesters in regular session (or equivalent) in this school.
Every first-year student is required to take the full schedule of required courses; second- and third-year students are required to take a minimum of 12 hours and may not take more than 16 hours each semester. The second- and third-year curriculum is elective, except for a required course in professional responsibility and a substantial analytical writing requirement. In addition to the courses in the regular law school curriculum, students may take two courses for credit in other disciplines within the University. Graduate students may enroll in upper division law courses on a limited basis. Law courses are not open to non-UCLA students. Auditing of courses is not permitted.
Attendance and Grades. The right to take examinations and the privilege of continuing as a student in the school are conditioned on regular classroom attendance. Information on the grading system, which is based on a letter-grade scale of A+ to F, may be obtained from the Office of the Assistant Dean for Students. Standards for satisfactory performance and for graduation are prescribed by the faculty and are published separately. They may also be obtained from the above office.
The school offers courses of instruction within the school and supervised educational experiences outside it in an effort to enable its students to think intelligently and to prepare them for careers of practice and public service. To this end the school employs several instructional techniques in a variety of subject areas.
In the first year of their legal education students are exposed to an intensive study of legal reasoning in a series of fields which have historically dominated legal thought. Additionally, the first-year required course in lawyering skills provides students the opportunity to explore the relationship between legal analysis and lawyering tasks such as legal writing, oral advocacy, research, and client interviewing and counseling.
In the second and third years students have an opportunity to engage in a number of different fields of law and law-related study. All of the courses in the second- and third-year curriculum are elective, with the exception of the legal profession and substantial analytical writing requirements which are requisites for graduation.
The School of Law offers a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree program for international and domestic law school graduates who wish to pursue a year of graduate legal education. The program allows students to specialize their studies in fields such as entertainment law, international and comparative law, and four separate business law subjects, or to design their own specialization in a field of their choice. For further information, see http://www.law.ucla.edu/llm/.
The Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree program is designed for those seeking to pursue careers as teachers and scholars of law. The highly selective program is open only to applicants who possess a distinguished prior academic record in law, show promise of outstanding scholarship, and demonstrate a high potential for completing a scholarly dissertation of required quality. Applicants must hold a J.D. degree or foreign equivalent and an LL.M. degree (or be enrolled in a program leading to an LL.M. degree). For further information, see http://www.law.ucla.edu/sjd/.
More than 60 courses and seminars are offered in the Business Law and Policy specialization. For students who want to be prepared for transactional practice to the highest level, the specialization offers an unparalleled opportunity by producing lawyers who can combine legal analysis with a thorough understanding of the business client's goals and obstacles. In an effort to help students further hone their area of study, the specialization offers four tracks that highlight the program's core strengths: business law, bankruptcy, tax law, and securities regulation.
The UCLA School of Law is the first American law school to offer an advanced curriculum that fosters students' systematic and rigorous study in the area of critical race studies. With many faculty members who have been instrumental in pioneering and advancing critical race theory, the Critical Race Studies specialization is essential to promoting insightful, intelligent public conversation about race relations. It is appropriate for law students who seek advanced study and/or practice in race and the law, critical race theory, civil rights, public policy, and other legal practice areas that are likely to involve working with racial minority clients and communities or working to combat racial inequality. The course of study emphasizes mastery of five areas: (1) history (centered on the Constitution but focused as well on a variety of other legal documents and experiences), (2) theory (critical race theory, jurisprudence, and theoretical advances outside the legal academy), (3) comparative subordination (understanding of the multiracial nature of American race relations, as well as how racial inequality is affected by discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability), (4) doctrine (case and statutory law and its interpretation), and (5) practice (including legal practice, community service, and lawyers' use of social science inquiries and methods).
Los Angeles is the center of the entertainment industry, and recognizing the unique ability to offer a specific program in that arena, the school launched the Entertainment and Media Law and Policy specialization in 2005. The specialization is the most comprehensive, advanced, and innovative approach to the study of entertainment and media law in the country. Students who fulfill the requirements have a solid grounding in the law, custom, theory, and policy in the motion picture, television, music, and other industries involved in creative and artistic matters. The program also prepares students who choose to work in nonprofit institutions, government, or academia in the area of entertainment and media law and policy.
Recognizing the considerable debate about the proper role of the law in creating and sustaining a just society and defining public interest broadly to include all interests underrepresented by the private market, the Public Interest Law and Policy specialization strives to provide its students with an innovative and intellectually ambitious curriculum that prepares them to engage in sophisticated representation of traditionally underserved clients and interests. The specialization, one of the nation's top such programs, has a competitive admissions process. Students represent a broad range of political and ideological perspectives and often pursue additional specializations and joint degrees. Graduates have received prestigious public interest law fellowships, and they work in a variety of settings, with focus on an array of social justice issues ranging from immigration, labor and international human rights to healthcare, welfare and poverty, and civil rights. Faculty members are leaders in their respective fields and have distinguished themselves by the quality of their scholarship and teaching. They represent a broad cross-section of interests on social justice issues and bring to the classroom a depth of knowledge from a wide range of experiences and research perspectives.
The Business Law and Policy Program is comprised of some of the most prominent scholars in areas such as corporate governance, tax law, and bankruptcy. The innovative research of the faculty members influences the national legal and policy debate over critical issues affecting the regulation and governance of business. Built on the incredible work and scholarship of the faculty, the program offers students a unique blend of policy-based and practice-oriented courses designed to prepare them to be leaders in the new economy. Each year the program hosts timely conferences and scholarly events on matters that facilitate and advance the public discussion.
The Center for the Study of Mergers and Acquisitions was established at UCLA in 2003 to examine corporate, securities, tax, antitrust, and other legal and economic issues that arise in mergers and acquisitions. An important part of the mission is to sponsor continuing legal education programs addressing these issues. Several times each year, the center holds institutes on a variety of topics, such as tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions; corporate, securities, and related aspects of mergers and acquisitions; and U.S. and European Union antitrust aspects of mergers and acquisitions. The center also hosts a Monday Forum, bringing influential scholars and jurists to campus to discuss major cases and court decisions pertaining to mergers and acquisitions.
With 26 diverse clinical offerings, the Clinical Program is widely regarded as one of the strongest in the nation. Housed in a special clinical wing, it provides extensive and rigorous practical training for student-lawyers interested in litigation, transactional, and public interest work. The program is built on two principles: that most legal skills are transferable across practice areas and that such skills are best learned through repetition in increasingly more complex settings. The goal is to provide students with conceptual frameworks that allow them to make reasoned strategic judgments across all substantive areas of law. Students can choose among a wide variety of live-client clinics (in which they represent actual clients) and sophisticated simulation-based courses. In the more than 20 clinical settings, students learn how to interview and counsel clients, draft legal documents, conduct depositions, examine and cross-examine witnesses, resolve disputes, and argue before a judge or jury. Students interested in transactional practice can learn how to finance a start-up company, sell a private company, advise a community-based organization engaged in economic development projects, or manage myriad environmental issues that arise when selling a business.
Throughout American history, race has profoundly affected the lives of individuals, growth of social institutions, substance of culture, and workings of our political economy. Not surprisingly, this impact has been substantially mediated through the law and legal institutions. To understand the deep interconnections between race and law and, particularly the ways in which race and law are mutually constitutive, is an extraordinary intellectual challenge with substantial practical implications. In a nation that is becoming more racially diverse and finds global issues at the forefront of political debate, these issues promise to remain central to the work of law practitioners and the research of legal scholars. The only one of its kind in the U.S., the program is proud that some of the original architects of critical race theory are faculty members. It is the premier institutional setting for the study of the intersection between race and the law. Only five years old, the program has quickly emerged as a training ground for a new generation of practitioners, scholars, and advocates committed to racial justice theory and practice and is a multifaceted program that augments a rigorous course of study with research colloquia, symposia, interdisciplinary collaborations, and community partnerships in order to integrate theory and practice.
The UCLA School of Law is one of the only law schools in the country to provide its faculty members with the support of trained statisticians to further empirical research. The Empirical Research Group (ERG) is a methodology-oriented research center that specializes in the design and execution of quantitative research in law and public policy, and enables faculty members to include robust empirical analysis in their legal scholarship. Articles and reports published by faculty members working with ERG have covered topics as diverse as bankruptcy, legal aid, pollution prevention, tax policy, gay rights, the living wage, and campaign finance disclosure. Articles, reports, working papers, and supporting data are posted on the ERG website. In addition to faculty scholarship, ERG trains law students as research assistants in empirical methods such as sampling, data collection, and statistics, and works closely with law students who conduct their own empirical research. ERG has received or facilitated more than $2.5 million in foundation support for specific projects, including a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts to study state campaign finance disclosure.
The Entertainment and Media Law and Policy Program supports and expands the curricular offerings of the Entertainment and Media Law and Policy specialization. For students interested in learning more about entertainment law, the program helps them earn externships with entertainment-related businesses, brings influential speakers to campus, and sponsors the industry's top legal conference on entertainment issues, the annual UCLA Entertainment Symposium. Students run an entertainment-related journal, the Entertainment Law Review, as well as the student organization, the Entertainment Law Association.
The Environmental Law Center houses the school's varied and interdisciplinary work related to environmental law and policy. It includes the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic, which offers excellent opportunities for students to obtain hands-on experience in environmental law, and the Evan Frankel Environmental Law and Policy Program, as well as the work of UCLA's world-class environmental law faculty. The center provides opportunities for members of the UCLA community to have a voice in solving the important environmental issues of the twenty-first century and to educate the public about these issues.
The Evan Frankel Environmental Law and Policy Program fosters informed analysis of timely and important issues involving governance and regulation in environmental policy. It supports ongoing work on public policy issues related to environmental governance and regulation through research publications, the timely placement of op-eds in influential mainstream publications, and by bringing together stakeholders and policymakers to work toward solutions to critical environmental problems. The program has recently worked on issues including catastrophe prevention and response, enforcing the California Endangered Species Act, pollution prevention mandates, addressing environmental impacts related to liquefied natural gas, and studying air pollution in microenvironments. Through its interdepartmental work with the UCLA Institute of the Environment, the program also participates in publishing the annual Environmental Report Card.
The school has one of the most extensive, best established, and most diversified student extern programs in the nation. Under supervision of experienced public interest and governmental lawyers and federal judges, students perform legal work in government offices, public interest law firms, nonprofit agencies, and the chambers of federal judges.
In the semester-long program, students develop legal skills in supervised settings and acquire perspectives about the lawyering process or the judicial decision-making process. They also participate in a faculty-led, law school-based seminar in which they reflect systematically in a classroom setting on their experiences in the placement. Students regularly report that the program is an excellent educational experience.
For students interested in labor and employment issues, UCLA has a Globalization and Labor Standards (GALS) Program that maintains a web-based library of law review articles on all issues of international labor rights and global labor standards. GALS also publishes a monthly newsletter, organizes conferences, and hosts regular speaker programs. Student contributors are involved in every stage of the project.
The International and Comparative Law Program is one of the best in the nation. Six permanent faculty members who have built their reputations in the field offer numerous international and comparative law courses, such as international business transactions, national security law, human rights, international environmental law, international criminal law, European Union law, and Islamic law. The study of international and comparative law at UCLA is further strengthened by the opportunity to take courses in other UCLA departments. Some of the country's best work in international economics, politics, and business occurs at UCLA, and many law students find it valuable to complement their law school work with coursework in other departments. Students may also pursue joint degrees with other departments with the approval of the law school administration.
The Native Nations Law and Policy Center supports Native Nations to enhance their governmental institutions and laws, strengthen their cultural resource protections, and address critical public policy issues by bringing together the University's academic resources and the knowledge and experience of tribal leaders and knowledge-holders.
The UCLA School of Law has a long-standing commitment to public service and is committed to cultivating an environment that encourages all of its students and alumni to better serve society in myriad ways. Students gain significant exposure and experience in public service through clinical courses, a pro bono program, an externship program, extensive public interest advising and informational programming, and numerous student organizations. The Office of Public Interest Programs, the hub of the school's public interest efforts, hosts a variety of career-oriented programs and relevant public interest forums and events in which students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community participate. The office also hosts the annual Southern California Public Interest Career Day, which attracts more than 110 public service employers and some 1,000 students from around the region. Additionally, the office provides support for the student-run Public Interest Law Fund (PILF) and its annual auction, which raises monies to help fund summer public service internships.
Reflecting a growing interdisciplinary focus at UCLA, the School of Law formed a partnership in 2005 with the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management to create the Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate. The center is firmly grounded in the scholarship and teaching missions of both schools and offers practical application principles that help real estate industry professionals, public officials, and business people alike make critical policy and business decisions. The center truly bridges the divide between research and practice and offers students a full range of coursework that provides a holistic view of real estate issues.
The Charles R. Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy is the only think tank of its kind dedicated to the field of sexual orientation law and public policy. The institute supports legal scholarship, legal research, policy analysis, and education regarding sexual orientation discrimination and other legal issues that affect lesbian and gay people. The institute began with the recognition that issues central to sexual orientation law have profound implications for the development of the law and public policy in general. Drawing on the intellectual and material resources of UCLA, the institute provides a national center for the interdisciplinary exploration of these issues by scholars, judges, practitioners, advocates, and students.
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