University of San Diego

University of San Diego

About

The University of San Diego is committed to academic excellence, Catholic intellectual and social traditions and providing a superior liberal arts education for scholars of all faiths.

 

The University of San Diego is a nationally preeminent Catholic university known for educating students who are globally competent, ethical leaders committed to the common good and empowered to engage a diverse and changing world.

 

USD is dedicated to the values originally articulated by its founders, Bishop Charles Francis Buddy of the Diocese of San Diego and Mother Rosalie Hill of the Society of the Sacred Heart.

 

Those values are reflected in the University's rich Catholic intellectual tradition. USD's community of scholars are committed to educating the whole person—intellectually, physically, spiritually, emotionally, socially and culturally. The university provides a character-building education that fosters independent thought, innovation, integrity, analytical thinking, and an open-minded and collaborative world view.

 

USD welcomes and respects those whose lives are formed by different traditions, and we recognize their important contributions to a pluralistic society and to an atmosphere of open discussion and discovery, which is essential to a liberal arts education.

 

Current Students

The University of San Diego has an active, thriving campus community. In addition to its sublime setting — enhanced by an average 300 days of sunshine each year — USD offers students an abundance of academic programs, facilities and resources. The University of San Diego has long been recognized as one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. In fact, U.S. News and World Report recently ranked USD fourth nationally on its “Most Beautiful College Campuses” list. The amazing architecture, stunning landscapes and prime location provide students with one of the most idyllic spots imaginable to learn and live.


And one of the best parts about the University of San Diego is experiencing life on campus. Whether meeting up with friends for a mid-morning mocha at Aromas Café or blowing off some pre-finals stress by participating in the traditional Midnight Scream, the friendly and energetic atmosphere guarantees that there is always something to do, and plenty of people to do it with.

 

USD offers many resources both on and off campus to ensure that your law school experience is the best it can be. Be sure to take advantage of the many opportunities that are offered.

 

The USD law student body is truly a community and we invite you to be a part of it.  Outside of the classroom, there are many activities that you can get involved with.  Our student organizations can provide you a network of colleagues with like-minded interests.  You can hone your writing and editing skills with one of our three student journals or through a writing competition.  There are also opportunities to improve your oral and written advocacy skills with one of our many advocacy teams.  And hopefully you will take the time during law school to volunteer in the San Diego community through one of our pro bono opportunities.  No matter what your goals are, there is a student group or activity at USD for you.

 

Going to law school isn’t just about classes and case books. It’s meeting people, exploring different areas of law and getting involved in the legal community. With over 40 unique law student organizations and teams from which to choose, the USD School of Law offers ample opportunities to enrich your legal education, experience the legal "real world" and network with professionals working in your chosen field—all before graduation.

 

The Student Bar Association (SBA) is the umbrella organization for the student-run clubs at the University of San Diego School of Law. The various groups conduct orientation programs, provide study assistance, represent group concerns, sponsor speaker programs, participate in and sponsor competitions, host social activities and promote community relations.

 

Click here for the full list of Student Organizations.

Advocacy and Practical Training

The University of San Diego School of Law is committed to developing students’ practical legal skills including written and oral advocacy, client counseling and representation, and case management. Through our practical skills training program, including academic courses, interscholastic competition, and clinical education, we bridge the gap between courses in legal theory and the practical skills and experience students need to become effective and successful lawyers.

 

In the classroom, students focus on written and oral advocacy skills such as appellate brief-writing and argument, negotiation, trial advocacy, and interviewing and counseling. In the courtroom and at the arbitration table, members of the National Mock Trial Team, Appellate Moot Court Board, and Vis International Commercial Arbitration Team compete in intercollegiate tournaments across the United States and in Hong Kong and Vienna, Austria. Each of these competitive teams offers academic credit and a companion course to train top advocates.

 

Through USD’s Legal Clinics and our Washington, D.C. Externship Program, students put their practical skills to work in one of the most extensive and successful clinical programs in the nation. Clinical program options include placements with the judiciary or government agencies, direct client representation, or work on state legislative and policy initiatives. Students train under experienced professors and attorneys, learn professional responsibility and ethics in the real world, and build their professional network.  

 

Clinical Education

USD’s Clinical Education Program is recognized as one of the most extensive and successful in the nation. Clinical program options include simulation classes, placements in the judiciary and agencies, an Administrative Hearing Program, extracurricular programs (such as the Trial Team), and 14 legal clinics (most provide direct client representation).

 

Advocacy Programs

The University of San Diego School of Law's Appellate Moot Court Board, NationalMock Trial Team, and Vis International Commercial Arbitration (VICAM) Team provide the opportunity for elite oral advocates to compete in national and international trial, appellate, and arbitration tournaments. 

 

Legal Writing and Research

The Legal Writing and Research Program includes two mandatory first year classes: Legal Writing and Research I, which the students take in the fall, and Legal Writing and Research II, which the students take in the spring. Over the academic year, students learn how to research, write, and think like attorneys. The Legal Writing and Research classes simulate the rigors of a law firm.

 

In the fall, students complete four major writing projects in addition to a number of major research assignments. The focus of the fall course is predictive writing, which is writing that predicts how a court will apply the law to the facts of the client’s situation.

 

In the spring, students focus on persuasive writing by learning how to use the law to argue their client’s position. Students perform research, write a motion, write an appellate brief, and argue their side in front of a panel of “judges” from the San Diego legal community as a part of Oral Arguments.

 

The Legal Writing faculty also hosts auxiliary seminars throughout the year to assist students with other issues related to legal writing in practice, such as legal writing in a clerkship setting, professional email communication, and motion writing. 

JD Programs

The degree of juris doctor is the basic professional degree offered by the USD School of Law. The law school shapes its curriculum to meet the diverse career goals and intellectual interests of its students within the traditional educational preparation for the practice of law. Students who wish to emphasize or specialize in a particular area of law can choose electives from a broad range of courses. The law school also offers clinical and internship programs to give law students who have completed their first year an opportunity to earn academic credit while gaining practical experience.

 

Three years of full-time study or four years of evening study are generally required to complete the JD degree. Upon recommendation of the dean and the faculty, the JD degree is conferred upon law students who have successfully completed all academic, graduation and residency requirements.

 

Full-Time Program

This program is designed for students who are prepared to devote their entire time to the study of law. The School of Law strongly discourages first-year law students from engaging in any employment during the first year of law school. Full-time upper-division law students are strongly discouraged from engaging in employment for more than 20 hours per week. This program generally requires three full academic years in residence. In general, classes are scheduled Monday through Friday.

 

View more information

Part-Time Program

This program is designed primarily for law students who are employed and cannot attend day classes. Four years of evening study are generally required to complete the degree. In general, classes are scheduled Monday through Thursday evenings beginning at 5:30 p.m. Additional classes may be scheduled as needed. After completing the first year of the part-time program, students may take day classes or request to transfer to full-time status.

 

View more information

Summer Program

A seven-week summer program for continuing students is offered on-campus. The summer session is open to students of USD and other law schools. Completing summer sessions gives students the option of a lighter class load during a subsequent semester.

LLM Programs

The University of San Diego School of Law is a long-standing leader in graduate legal education. Each year, the School of Law is pleased to welcome attorneys, judges, law professors and recent law school graduates from the United States and throughout the world into our Master of Laws (LLM) programs.

 

Our diverse curriculum and flexible LLM programs allow our degree candidates to design a course of study suited to best meet their individual academic and professional development needs.

 

If you have questions about our available LLM programs, we encourage you to review the information available on our website.  For further information or to arrange an appointment with an admission counselor, please contact LLM and MSLS Admissions.

 

Please note that attorneys who received their legal education outside the United States are rarely admitted to an LLM program other than the Comparative Law program.  Please see the LLM in Comparative Law program below.

 

International Law School Graduates: LLM Programs

LLM in Comparative Law (with available Concentrations)

  • Business and Corporate Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Environmental and Energy Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Law
  • Taxation

U.S. Law School Graduates: LLM Programs

Financial Information

All students are expected to become familiar with the financial obligations they incur by registering at the USD School of Law. The following information provides the essential data. If in doubt, students should make inquiries at the Student Accounts Office before the registration fee payment dates. Tuition and fees listed on the following sections are for the fall and spring terms of the 2015-16 academic year.

 

LL.M Tuition and Fees

LL.M COST OF ATTENDANCE

2016-17

Tuition

$1,635 per credit (24-25 credits)*

Mandatory Fees**

$301 - $351

Health Insurance

$2,100 (estimated; can be waived with proof of sufficient insurance)***

TOTAL

$39,541 - $43,213

 

*Tuition for the Diploma in Taxation (DIPT) program is also $1,635 per credit (10 credits).

** Mandatory Fees:

  • Student Bar Association Fees (for LLM in Comparative Law students only):
  • Full-time $50 (9 or more credits); Part-time $40 (8 or fewer credits)
  • Health Center Fee: $220
  • Student Life Pavilion Fee: $70
  • Activity Fee: $11.00 (Fall only)

*** International Health Insurance Rate: $1,988 (2015-16)

 

OTHER LL.M FEES*

 

Parking Fee (per year/per car)

Varies according to permit

Returned Check Fee

$25

Late Payment/Late Registration Fee

Monthly interest charge

Transcript Fee

$10

 

Applicants who plan to obtain a student visa should review our Visa Information for details about the financial certification required in order to apply for a visa.

 

All costs and fees are subject to change and are based on a ten month academic year. Figures accurate as of 03/15/16.

 

Scholarship

The University of San Diego School of Law is committed to providing all possible financial assistance to eligible students to help pursue and plan a legal education through a comprehensive financial aid program. Entering students are automatically considered for merit-based as well as need-based scholarships. In awarding scholarship assistance, the Admissions Committee focuses on students with academic merit or promise, and/or financial need. Financial aid awarded to School of Law students includes more than 350 scholarships and grants. All scholarships and grants are coordinated with any other financial aid that a student receives.

 

LLM Merit Scholarship

  • The University of San Diego School of Law awards Merit Scholarships to admitted LLM students based on the merits of the applicant’s scholastic and professional experience, as demonstrated by the contents of the applicant’s admission file
  • Merit Scholarship awards are available to full-time U.S. and international applicants
  • Full-time applicants accepted to an LLM program at the School of Law are automatically considered for this partial tuition scholarship award at the time of admission
  • Merit Scholarship awards are not renewable, and upon enrollment are applied against the applicant’s tuition costs
  • No additional application is necessary to be considered for this scholarship

 

LLM in Taxation Scholarships

  • In addition to available Merit Scholarships, admitted LLM in Taxation students may be considered for the following scholarship and fellowship awards:
  • The Carr Ferguson Graduate Tax Research Fellowship
  • The Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves and Savitch Tax Scholarship
  • The Richard A. Shaw Scholarship
  • The Ronson J. Shamoun RJS LAW Scholarship
  • These awards are based on the merits of the applicant’s scholastic and professional experience, as demonstrated by the contents of the applicant’s admission file

 

Information for International Students

While the School of Law does offer Merit Scholarships to qualified international LLM applicants, we are unable to provide comprehensive funding that covers full tuition costs or living expenses. 

 

International applicants who plan to obtain a student visa should carefully review our visa information web page for details about the financial certification required in order to apply for a visa.

 

We encourage international applicants to seek additional sources of funding, such as private loans, grants, fellowships, or scholarships from other organizations.  Applicants should seek scholarships and additional funding in their home country and in the United States.  Some outside sources of funding are listed below:

LL.M Admissions for U.S Students

Eligibility

U.S. applicants to our LLM programs must possess a juris doctor (JD) from a U.S. law school.

  • Admission to our LLM programs is competitive and is based primarily upon previous excellence in law studies
  • Admitted applicants have excellent academic credentials and may also have significant professional experience
  • Almost all of our admitted U.S. applicants are in the top half of their class of a nationally ranked law school
  • Applicants currently enrolled in U.S. law schools may apply for admission after completing two years of law school at a U.S. law school

Full-Time or Part-Time Student Status

  • An applicant may apply to be either a full-time (9 or more credits) or a part-time student (8 or fewer credits)
  • The choice to apply as a full-time or part-time candidate is not a factor used in the admissions process
  • Some evening courses are available in most programs, but the part-time option is not exclusively an evening program
  • All students (full-time or part-time) are responsible for completing all degree requirements within the time limit specific to each degree

May I apply as a transfer student?

  • With advance approval and depending on the degree program, students currently enrolled in an LLM program at another school may apply as transfer students
  • Up to 3 credits of non-USD law school work may be applied toward the LLM in Comparative Law, provided the candidate received a grade of at least C
  • Up to 6 credits of non-USD law school work may be applied toward the LLM in Business and Corporate Law, LLM in International Law, LLM in Taxation or General LLM, provided the candidate received a grade of at least B
  • Transfer grades do not count toward the degree candidate’s USD School of Law grade point average; any approved credits earned elsewhere will transfer to USD as pass/fail credits

May I apply as a visiting student?

  • Applicants enrolled in an LLM program at another U.S. law school may apply for admission as a visiting student
  • Applicants who wish to enroll as a visiting LLM student must submit, as part of their application materials, a letter from the applicant's current law school dean, dated after issuance of the required transcript, indicating that the applicant is in good academic standing and has approval to study at the School of Law as a visiting student
  • Visiting students are permitted to enroll for courses, but are not considered degree candidates at the School of Law
  • Credits earned by visiting students may be applied toward the degree requirements at their home school, per the approval of such institution

Deadlines

Priority deadlines are as follows:

  • Fall Admission: File complete by June 1
  • Spring Admission: File complete by November 1
  • Summer Admission: File complete by April 1 (Summer admission is not available for the LLM in Comparative Law program. Also note that Summer course offerings are limited.)

Applications for admission will be considered on a space-available basis after the priority deadlines. Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year, and many applicants will receive an admission decision within three weeks from the date their application becomes complete.

Application Checklist

USD JD students applying to the LLM in Taxation program have reduced application requirements.  USD JD students and USD law school graduates are required to submit an application, a resume, and a personal statement. A letter of recommendation is optional.

1. Application

Apply online through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC)

  • To use this option, applicants must pay LSAC a separate registration fee
  • All supporting application materials should be submitted through LSAC.

2. Application Fee

  • There is no application fee.

3. Official Law School Transcript(s)

  • U.S. applicants must submit an official transcript from each law school attended
  • Transcripts should be sent directly from the law school, or may be submitted in a sealed envelope along with other application materials from the applicant

4. Official Law School Class Rank

  • U.S. applicants must submit their official law school class rank, or written notice from the school indicating that it does not issue class rank

5. Resume or Curriculum Vitae

  • Please submit a current résumé or curriculum vitae

6. Personal Statement

Please submit a brief personal statement (2-4 pages) which addresses:

  • the nature and extent of your legal background,
  • other related professional experience,
  • why you will be a successful candidate for this degree,
  • how you plan to make use of your graduate degree, and
  • any additional information you deem important

7. Letter(s) of Recommendation

  • Applicants are required to submit at least one signed, original letter of recommendation, but may submit more if desired
  • Letter(s) should be from a law professor, attorney, or other legal professional who is familiar with the applicant’s work

8. Letter of Good Standing

  • Applicants applying to enroll as visiting students in the LLM program must also submit a letter from the applicant's current law school dean, dated after issuance of the above-mentioned transcript, indicating that the applicant is in good academic standing and has approval to study at the School of Law as a visiting student
  • Applicants applying to enroll as transfer students in the LLM program must also submit a letter from the applicant's current law school dean, dated after issuance of the above-mentioned transcript, indicating that the applicant is in good academic standing.

9. Notice Regarding Submission of Application Materials

Applicants should keep a copy of all materials submitted to LSAC and LLM/MSLS Admissions. Once original transcripts and documents are submitted as part of an applicant’s admission materials, they cannot be returned or photocopied by LLM/MSLS Admissions for any reason.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When will an applicant receive an admission decision?

A. The LLM/MSLS Admissions uses a rolling admissions process. The Admissions Committee reviews completed files and makes admission decisions on a continual basis. Most applicants receive an admission decision within three weeks from the time their application file became complete.

Q. What is the maximum number of credits an LLM student may take per semester?

A. Twelve credits, unless otherwise approved by the academic advisor.

Q. May admitted applicants defer their admission to an LLM program?

A. Admitted applicants may defer their admission one time, for up to one academic year. An admitted applicant should contact the LLM/MSLS Admissions for information about the requirements to request a deferral of admission.

Q. When should LLM students contact the Office of Career and Professional Development?

A. LLM students should contact the Office of Career and Professional Development during fall or spring registration week, or no later than the first week of classes. By scheduling an initial 30-minute appointment with a career advisor, LLM students can be provided with an overview of the job search timeline and get information about how to register with the School of Law's online recruiting and job listing programs. Throughout their LLM programs, students are encouraged to regularly meet with an advisor for assistance with their job searches.

Q. Are scholarships available to LLM students?

A. Merit Scholarships are available to incoming full-time LLM students. Externally funded scholarship programs are also an option for incoming students.

LL.M Admissions for International Students

Eligibility

 

International applicants to our LLM programs must possess the equivalent of a U.S. law degree from an accredited institution outside the United States.

 

  • Admission to our LLM programs is competitive and is based primarily upon previous excellence in law studies and significant professional experience

 

  • Applicants must have graduated in the upper half of their law school class or must otherwise establish qualifications indicating their ability to complete graduate law work successfully

 

  • Applicants must establish competency in English through successful completion of the TOEFL exam or the IELTS exam if: [1] the applicant's native language is not English, or [2] the applicant graduated from an international law school. Applicants who do not meet the minimum score requirements should consider additional English study, specifically in the area of legal English skills.  One such program to consider is the Intensive Legal English program offered by UCSD-Extension in San Diego.

 

  • In some cases, the TOEFL/IELTS requirement may be waived.  If you are from a country where English is an official language, if you studied law at an institution that teaches only in English, or if you have additional extenuating circumstances, you may submit a TOEFL/IELTS waiver request to llminfo@sandiego.edu.

Full-Time or Part-Time Student Status

 

  • An applicant who will obtain an F-1 student visa must be a full-time student (9 or more credits per semester)
  • An applicant who is a permanent resident or U.S. citizen may apply to be a full-time or part-time student
  • Other visa types may have additional restrictions on enrollment
  • All students (full-time or part-time) are responsible for completing all degree requirements within the time limit specific to each degree

Entrance Requirements

 

Applicants to the LLM in Comparative Law program or an alternate LLM program (as approved) must have the equivalent of a U.S. law degree from an accredited institution outside the United States.  Candidates must have also graduated in the upper half of their law school class or otherwise establish qualifications indicating their ability to complete graduate law work successfully.  Applicants to the LLM in Comparative Law program may begin their studies in either the fall or spring semester. 
 

The University of San Diego School of Law requires that all LLM applicants establish competency in English through successful completion of an English language test in the event that: [1] the applicant’s native language is not English, or [2] the applicant graduated from an international law school.

 

An applicant may establish competency in English through successful completion of either the TOEFL or the IELTS. For the TOEFL, a minimum score of 583 points on the paper-based test or 93 points on the Internet-based test is required for admission.  For the IELTS, a minimum score of 7.0 on the academic IELTS is required for admission.  Applicants who do not meet the minimum score requirements should consider additional English study, specifically in the area of legal English skills.  One such program to consider is the Intensive Legal English program offered by UCSD-Extension in San Diego.

 

Completed applications are reviewed on a “rolling” basis throughout the year, and many applicants will receive a decision within three weeks from the date their application becomes complete.

Deadlines

Priority deadlines are as follows:

 

  • Fall Admission: File complete by June 1
  • Spring Admission: File complete by November 1

 

Applications for admission will be considered on a space-available basis after the priority deadlines.

Application Instructions

We prefer application packages prepared by the Law School Admissions Council’s (LSAC) credential evaluation and reporting service.  This service allows you to use your computer to fill out your application and submit required supporting documents.  Visit the University of San Diego School of Law’s LSAC site to complete the application.  LSAC will then send the electronic version of your application to our office.

 

We believe that this service offers a distinct advantage to all applicants, since it eliminates the need to authenticate official documents multiple times and it facilitates a speedy and accurate processing of the application. 

Application Fee

There is no application fee.

1. Personal Statement

Please submit a brief personal statement to LSAC addressing:

 

  • the nature and extent of your legal background;
  • other related professional experience;
  • how you plan to make use of your graduate degree; and
  • additional information you deem important.

2. Résumé

Please submit a current resume or curriculum vitae to LSAC.

3. Letter of Recommendation

Please submit at least one (1) letter of recommendation to LSAC from a law professor, attorney, or other legal professional who is familiar with your work.

4. Official Law School Transcripts

An official transcript from each law school attended is required and must be sent directly to LSAC from your school’s registrar.  Please include a description of your university’s grading policies with your application.  In countries where an official transcript is not provided by the university, but is instead given to the students, the applicant must certify that the photocopy is a true and correct copy of the original document.

5. Official TOEFL or IELTS English Language Exam Score

LLM applicants are required to establish competency in English through successful completion of an English language test (TOEFL or IELTS) in the event that: [1] the applicant’s native language is not English, or [2] the applicant graduated from an international law school.

 

Minimum required TOEFL score:

 

  • 93 points on Internet-based TOEFL
  • 583 points on paper-based TOEFL

 

Minimum required IELTS score:

 

  • 7.0 points on academic IELTS

 

Please request that the test administrator submit your official TOEFL/IELTS score directly to LSAC, or to our office if not using LSAC (our TOEFL institutional code is 4849, and department code is 03).

 

Institutional TOEFL/IELTS scores are not accepted.

 

Notice Regarding Submission of Application Materials

Applicants should keep a copy of all materials submitted to LSAC or LLM/MSLS Admissions. Once original transcripts and documents are submitted as part of an applicant’s admission materials, they cannot be returned or photocopied by LLM/MSLS Admissions for any reason.

 

Additional Information

Visa Information

International students and exchange visitors should make note of specific requirements and conditions that pertain to their visa type (F-1 student or J-1 Exchange Visitor). For additional information, please refer to the Visa Informationweb page.

Health Insurance Requirement

International students and scholars at the University of San Diego School of Law are required to fulfill the health insurance requirement. For additional information on how to enroll in the USD International Health Insurance Plan or how to waive the USD Health Insurance Requirement, please refer to the Health Insurance Requirement web page.

Other Helpful Resources 

Legal Research Centre

Welcome to the Pardee Legal Research Center (LRC).  In addition to a fine collection of books, the library offers computer research services, a very strong microforms and documents collection and generous space for work and study. The library is open seven days a week. Professional reference service is available during a majority of the library's operating hours.

 

As one of the premier academic law libraries in the country, the Pardee Legal Research Center (LRC) serves as an invaluable resource for students and faculty, in particular, as well as alumni and members of the public. The Law School Library originally existed on the third floor of the main USD law school building, Warren Hall. In 1973, the law library moved to the old Knights of Columbus building, founded in 1958.  Originally, the Knights of Columbus hall housed the university's College of Men's library.  With the generous help of Marvin and Lillian Kratter, the law library was greatly expanded.  Fund-raising in the eighties led to a two-year construction project, completed in 1990 thanks to the single largest gift in the Law School’s history—a $2.5 million commitment from university trustee George M. Pardee Jr. and his wife Katherine. The law library officially became the LRC at a September 21, 1990 ceremony.

 

The building now houses a number of different law school groups and functions:  the LRC containing the law library and all the related library offices in the lower level, first, second, and three mezzanine floors; a grouping of 13 faculty offices on the third floor; three classrooms, two off the North entrance on the first floor and one in the library on the second floor; and three centers (the Center for Public Interest Law, the Children’s Advocacy Institute, and the Energy Policy Initiatives Center).  All the Centers are on the lower level, and all are entered from the South side parking lot. 

 

The LRC continues to grow to support the educational missions of the School of Law and the university.

Writing Competitions

Ehline Law Firm American Military Veterans Legal Scholarship

  • Details
  • Subject: Any paper on why military vets can make a difference in improving the image of the practice of law.
  • Deadline for entry is October 1, 2016.
  • Grand Prize: $500 

Pacific Legal Foundation: 2016 Law Student Writing Competition

  • Details
  • Subject: Entries must address one of the topics provided by Pacific Legal Foundation. 
  • Deadline for entry is January 13, 2017
  • First Place: $5,000
  • Second Place: $3,000
  • Third Place: $1,000

Future Legal Leaders Scholarship 

  • Details
  • Subject: How your future work in the legal profession can service your community.
  • Deadline for entry is May 5, 2017.

Study Abroad

USD School of Law offers legal education opportunities in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Fully integrated with the law school's regular international and comparative law course offerings, USD's two law summer study abroad programs and seven semester abroad programs provide a strong curricular focus.

 

Dean Ferruolo's recent article in San Diego Lawyer Magazine explains why study abroad programs are a necessary part of legal education. Read the article for more about USD School of Law's commitment to teaching global fluency.

 

ZIKA VIRUS UPDATE: For updated information concerning the Zika virus, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's website. Women who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant should speak with their healthcare provider before confirming any travel to the affected areas. USD will continue to monitor the situation.

 

Summer Programs

USD’s summer study abroad programs are open to USD law students and students enrolled in ABA-accredited and foreign law schools, who are in good academic standing and have completed at least one year of full-time or part-time study. These programs provide intensive training in international, comparative and foreign law, while introducing American students to the legal institutions of another country.  At the same time, students from Commonwealth and civil law traditions experience American legal viewpoints and problem-solving methods.  Programs bring together students and expert faculty for a rich experience of academic and cultural interchange. If you are interested in participating in one of the following ABA-accredited summer study abroad programs, please see information below and contact Graduate and International Programs

 

Scholarship funds are available for current USD law students who attend a USD Law Summer Study Abroad program. To be considered for a scholarship, USD law students must complete the International Study Abroad Scholarship form.

 

For full information, please click here

 

Semester Programs

USD School of Law encourages students to take advantage of legal education opportunities abroad to increase their global fluency.  International study prepares graduates to enter increasingly globalized legal markets, address international issues that impact the full spectrum of practice areas, and internationally trained attorneys that are competing for clients, cases and transactions.

 

Alongside summer study abroad opportunities, the School of Law offers a full array of semester exchange programs, which expanded from a single program at the University of Copenhagen.  The partnerships include programs at the University of Copenhagen; the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College, London; the European Business School in Wiesbaden, Germany; ESADE Law School, Ramon Lull University in Barcelona; Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Universidad Torcuato di Tella Law School in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the Singapore Management University; and Seoul National University School of Law.

 

Through these partnerships, USD JD students and exchange students who study in San Diego have the opportunity to explore new cultures in an academic setting through a comparative perspective.  Students are introduced to international legal principles and the law of the respective countries through specialized courses taught by leading legal experts.  Through the programs, students have a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience living and learning in another culture alongside future world leaders in law, business and public service.

 

Exchange students pay tuition and fees to their home institution and are only responsible to the host institution for board and lodging (if applicable) and any obligatory membership fees to campus organizations. Credit for coursework undertaken on an exchange program generally can be transferred to USD, subject to approval by USD in the same manner as any coursework submitted for transfer under our Academic Rules.  

 

For full information, please click here

About the School of Law

The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 900 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.
 

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 23rd worldwide in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). USD School of Law is approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654, 312-988-6738. The school is also a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.

Message from the Dean

Thank you for your interest in the University of San Diego School of Law.

 

This is a great time to be coming to law school, especially at the University of San Diego.  Over the past eighteen months, we have seen a substantial improvement in the legal job market and in the opportunities available to our graduates, in the San Diego region and throughout California and the West, as well as elsewhere nationally (most notably in Washington, D.C. for those who have participated in our new Washington DC Externship Program) and internationally.  This continuing upturn in job offerings makes me optimistic about the prospects our students will have upon graduation. 

 

While our entering classes have become smaller, we continue to be highly selective, carefully choosing highly-credentialed and highly-motivated students who bring a wide diversity of backgrounds and experience to our law school.   Our commitment is to provide each of these students with an excellent legal education on a par with the best law schools in the world and professional training that combines academic rigor with hands-on, practical experience that will give them the skills needed for successful legal careers.

 

In addition to tax, international law and health law, we have significantly expanded our curriculum in the areas of intellectual property, finance, corporate transactions, criminal law and labor and employment law.  We now offer eight concentrations, including a recently-added concentration in Environmental and Energy Law, and expect to approve a new concentration in Health Law this year.

 

Complementing the law school's strong academic curriculum is a broad range of programs, centers, clinics and institutes that are unequaled in providing our students with opportunities to gain hands-on, practical legal experience.  You will be able to learn written and oral advocacy skills through our Appellate Moot Court program, our National Mock Trial Team (which has been selected as one of the top in the Ninth Federal Judicial Circuit for the past 20 years), or our new Supreme Court Clinic.  If you are interested in pursuing a career in business or corporate law, you can compete in the National Transactional Law Meet; or, if your interest is in international commercial arbitration, join the Vis Moot Arbitration Team (VICAM)and participate in their annual competitions in Hong Kong and Vienna.  Through our nationally renowned Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL), you can focus on gaining expertise on administrative law and state regulatory agencies.  Our eleven client-focused legal clinics will enable you to assist low-income individuals and families, veterans or non-profits and start-up companies.   Business-oriented students can gain valuable hands-on practice experience with a law firm or company placement through our Technology Entrepreneurship ClinicIntellectual Property Law Clinic.  Other innovative  programs include the Children's Advocacy Institute (CAI), the Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC), the Center for Intellectual Property Law & Markets and the Center for Corporate and Securities Law, which provide opportunities for our students to work with full-time and adjunct faculty on important research projects and policy issues. 

 

At USD School of Law, we also offer expanding opportunities for our students to gain valuable legal experience away from campus.  Our law school’s location close to both downtown San Diego (where state and federal courts, other government agencies and most litigation-focused firms are located) and the La Jolla area near UCSD (where many of the technology and biotechnology companies, and the law firms who serve them, are located) makes it relatively easy for our full-time students to balance course work with an internship or part-time employment (as well as for our part-time students to get conveniently back and forth to their full-time jobs without long commute times). In addition, our Washington, D.C. Externship Program will enable you to spend a full semester interning at a government or public interest agency, an experience that will enhance your prospects for landing the job that you want, whether in Washington, back in California or elsewhere. As a former business lawyer who negotiated deals internationally, I am a great believer in the value of "global fluency" and have been urging more of our students to study abroad (as I did when I was in law school). In the past two years, we have added several international student-faculty exchange programs and now have exchange programs with eight leading law schools in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia. These, in addition to our summer study abroad programs, give our students unparalleled opportunities to gain global fluency and to qualify for positions in the expanding global legal marketplace.  Through the generous support of the Gwen and Tom Price Family, we now can offer many of our students who study abroad fellowships to help cover their additional costs.

 

This year marks the 60th anniversary of USD School of Law. Throughout the year, we will be celebrating the successes of our more than 13,000 graduates, highlighting many who have become leaders in their fields and whose professional achievements have been instrumental in establishing the outstanding reputation our law school enjoys regionally, nationally and internationally.

 

I left practice and became dean of USD School of Law in 2011 because I believe in the value of legal education and in the vital importance of training future generations of lawyers to do all the critically important things that a civil society and thriving economy needs lawyers to do. Whenever I meet with prospective or new law students, I am energized by the enthusiasm, ambition and commitment that make them want to come to law school and join the legal profession. For the reasons I have discussed above, I also am enthusiastic in encouraging them to come to USD.  

 

I invite you to learn more about USD School of Law, first by using this website and then by coming to visit. When you do, you will find out more about why I am so enthusiastic about being dean and why I believe this is such a great place to be a law student and to prepare for a successful career as a lawyer.

 

Stephen C. Ferruolo
Dean and Professor of Law

Faculty

Recent additions to our distinguished faculty include:

 

  • Professor Howard Abrams, a noted expert on the taxation of corporations and partnerships, who joined our faculty as Warren Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of Tax Programs in August 2014, after spending a year as a visiting tax professor at Harvard Law School.

 

 

  • Professor Horacio Spector, formerly provost and dean of the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella Law School in Buenos Aires, who teaches courses in the areas of Latin American and international law and jurisprudence, legal theory and law and economics. 

 

  • Professor Adam Hirsch, one of the nation’s leading experts on trusts and estates, who teaches a section on property to our first-year students, as well as courses on trusts and estates and estate planning.

 

  • Professor Sharmila (Mila) Sohoni, who joined our faculty in January 2014 and who will be teaching civil procedure to first-year students, as well as a very topical seminar on the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) and the Law.

 

  • Professor Dov Fox, who, since joining our faculty in August 2013, has been leading the faculty’s commitment to expanding our health law curriculum and whose seminars on Bioethics and the Law and Reproductive Rights and the Law have already become very popular among our students. 

ABA Required Disclosures

USD School of Law was accredited by the American Bar Association in 1961. The law school is also a member of the American Association of Law Schools and one of the 81 member schools of the Order of the Coif.

Curriculum

 

  • Applicants and current students should refer to the Standard 509 Report (PDF) for statistics relating to course offerings.

Admissions and Entering Class Profile

Bar Pass Data and Employment Outcomes

Faculty

Student Complaints Concerning Compliance with the ABA Standards (Standard 512)

Students should refer to the Student Complaint web page if they encounter a significant problem that directly implicates the law school’s program of legal education and its compliance with the ABA Standards.

 

General Consumer Information (PDF)

Career and Professional Development

The Office of Career and Professional Development is the primary point of contact for recruiting, career guidance, and semester and post-graduate employment for students and employers. 

 

Our staff includes an assistant dean for career and professional development, an associate director plus four attorney counselors, all of whom draw upon their own varied and significant experience in legal practice, student and alumni advising, and working with employers to meet their ever-changing hiring needs.

 

We assist employers to find top notch talent through various annual recruiting programs and promoting employer job opportunities throughout the year on our free online Job Board.

Free Legal Assistance

USD Legal Clinics are funded by the University of San Diego and, in part, by grants from the State Bar of California and the U.S. Department of Treasury. Services are available to lower income individuals. If you are interested in obtaining free assistance from USD Legal Clinics, or have any questions, please contact us at (619) 260-7470.

 

Free legal assistance may be provided in these areas:

  • Appellate—Handles the entire appeal from start to finish - brief to oral argument.  These cases are referred from the pro bono panel at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Civil—Includes consumer issues, breach of contract, uninsured motorist defense, fraud and consumer debt collection disputes.
  • Education and Disability—Represents the parents of students with disabilities in cases ranging from IEP eligibility and services, placement, discipline and expulsions, 504 Plans, Early Start, Regional Center eligibility and services, and limited conservatorships. 
  • Entrepreneurship—Provides transactional legal services for clients in high technology business startups and other emerging growth companies. Assists with key legal services needed by entrepreneurs, including structuring the business entity, financing regulations, drafting of investment and employment agreements, and protection of intellectual property.
  • Federal Tax—Represents lower-income taxpayers who have disputes with the Internal Revenue Service in matters such as collection action, audits, earned income tax credits and offers in compromise. Make appearances at U.S. Tax Court.  
  • Immigration—Offers assistance for immigration-related problems including immigrating family members, naturalization and deportation. Provides legal information, consultation and opportunity for representation in Deferred Actions. 
  • State Income Tax—The "Taxpayer Appeals Assistance Program” is a joint effort between the USD Legal Clinics and the California State Board of Equalization (BOE). Under supervision of an attorney from the BOE's Taxpayer Rights Advocate Office, students assist taxpayers with state income tax disputes against the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB).
  • State Sales and Use Tax—This clinic is a joint effort between USD Legal Clinics and the California State Board of Equalization (BOE). Under the supervision of an attorney from the BOE’s Taxpayers' Rights Advocate Office, students will represent clients who are appealing California Sales and Use Tax determinations.
  • Veterans Clinic—Provides free legal assistance to veterans, limited to disputes with for-profit institutions over the use of GI Bill funds and predatory lending, discharge upgrades, and VA Disability Claims appeals. Legal services range from advice to identification of potential claims to representation of veterans in litigation, arbitration and before governmental review boards.  Visit the website.
  • Workers' Rights—Assists lower-income workers with a variety of employment law issues including employee rights, discrimination, workplace safety, denial of wages, unemployment benefits, harassment, and wrongful termination.

Unfortunately, we are UNABLE to provide assistance with:

  • Adoptions
  • Bankruptcy
  • Collections
  • Constitutional Rights Issues
  • Criminal Matters
  • Estate Planning/Probate
  • Family law/Dissolution of marriage
  • Malpractice—Medical or Legal
  • Patents
  • Personal Injury
  • Preparation of Tax Returns
  • Real Estate/Real Property
  • Small Claims
  • SSI Appeals

 

DisclaimerThe Legal Clinics at University of San Diego School of Law provide training to upper-level law students while providing needed legal services to the community. All Legal Clinic students are supervised by a practicing attorney.  We will make appointments for qualifying individuals to meet for an intake with a law student, on a space available basis. We do NOT accommodate walk-in clients.  You can reach us by calling (619) 260-7470.

Student Resources

Visit the LRC for a variety of materials to help you succeed in law school and beyond!  Our student resources include helpful study tools, research and writing resources, material directly related to your courses, assistance for law review students and student organizations as well as services in the library to help make your research experience as easy as possible. 

Research Trainings

Library Resources for Passing Law School Classes

Library Resources for USD Law Journals

International Study Abroad Scholarship Application 2016-17

To encourage USD law students to engage in international study, USD School of Law offers scholarships for students pursuing coursework, research, or internships abroad. The International Study Abroad Scholarship is available for USD law students only.

 

Students may submit this funding request for any international activity likely to enhance the student’s legal education. These may include internships with governmental, private or non-profit employers in foreign countries, USD-sponsored summer and semester study abroad programs, research projects in foreign countries under the direction of a USD or foreign faculty member or other supervised study abroad experience. All scholarship applications are reviewed by a committee and approval is based on financial need, academic merit and potential, and the value of the international experience to the student.

 

If you are a USD law student who is interested in submitting an application to be considered for a USD International Study Abroad Scholarship, please complete this web form. Please attach your résumé, a one paragraph summary of the proposed international experience, and a brief essay (no more than 3 pages) describing the international experience you have selected, how this international experience will enhance your legal education and why, in order to pursue this opportunity, you require financial assistance. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

 

The priority deadline to apply for an International Study Abroad Scholarship for the Spring Semester Exchange program is October 1, 2016.

 

Please fill in the Application Form here

Visiting Applicants

Applicants enrolled at another ABA-accredited law school may apply for admission as a visiting student on a full-time or part-time basis. Visiting students are permitted to enroll for courses, but are not degree candidates at the School of Law. Credits earned by visiting students may be applied toward the degree requirements at their home school.

Fall and Spring Visiting Students

To be considered for admission as a visiting student, an applicant must provide the Admissions Office with the following:

 

  • A completed admission application form (supporting documents, such as CAS or LSAT data, are not needed) and personal statement.
  • An official law school transcript from the applicant's home school.
  • A letter from the applicant's current law school dean, dated after issuance of the above transcript, indicating that the applicant is in good academic standing and has approval to study at the School of Law as a visiting student.

 

Applications from visiting students should be received by July 15 for admission to the fall semester or January 2 for admission to the spring semester. In some cases, visiting students experience difficulty in obtaining preferred classes or schedules, as priority is given to current USD law students.

 

If you have any questions, you may contact the Office of Admissions at (619) 260-4528 or via email at jdinfo@sandiego.edu.

Summer Visiting Students

Please see the 2016 Summer Visiting Student Application.

International Visiting Students

Applicants enrolled at a law school outside of the United States may apply for admission as a visiting student. International visiting students are permitted to enroll in courses, but are not degree candidates at the University of San Diego School of Law. Credits earned by visiting students may be applied toward the degree requirements at their home school, as approved by such institution. Applicants may apply for admission as an International Visiting Student after completing a minimum of at least one year of legal studies.

 

To be considered for admission as an International Visiting Student, an applicant must provide Graduate and International Programs with the following:

 

  • Application
  • Official law school transcript(s)
  • Official law school class rank (if available)
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS score
  • A letter from the applicant's current law school dean, dated after issuance of the above transcript, indicating that the applicant is in good academic standing and has approval to study at the School of Law as a visiting student.

 

Applications from international visiting students should be received by June 1 for admission to the fall semester, November 1 for admission to the spring semester, or April 1 for admission to the summer term. In some cases, International Visiting Students may experience difficulty in obtaining preferred classes or schedules, as priority is given to current USD law students.