Faculty during one of the graduation ceremony
ADMISSION POLICIES AND GUIDELINES
Read the REQUIRED DISCLOSURE STATEMENTS
Before applying for admission to law school applicants MUST investigate the requirements for admission to the practice of law in the jurisdictions in which they intend to practice.
For more information about requirements click here
For more information and details on Admission visit the California State Bar website click here
Pre-application counseling is encouraged for those interested in learning more about Pacific West College of Law. This will provide personal insight into the admissions process, admission criteria, academic standards, and many other concerns confronting entering and transfer students.
All applicants are encouraged to seek pre-application counseling. This is an opportunity for applicants to ask questions or express concerns related to law school entry. It will provide specific insight into admission requirements, the application process, and all aspects of law school. All applicants are encouraged to visit an actual class so that they may see exactly how Pacific West conducts its classes and they can ask questions from the Professor and students.
Our students come from widely varied cultural and educational backgrounds. Pacific West College of Law is committed to providing equal opportunity to study law hence admission decisions are made without regard to sex, race, color, ancestry, religious creed, national origin, disability, medical condition, age, mental state, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or veteran status. The vast majority of new students are those who have already spent time in the job market. All students are encouraged to work during their time in law school.
Educational Prerequisite as General Basis for Admission
A prospective student seeking to be admitted at Pacific West College of Law MUST satisfy the pre-legal education requirements or its equivalent set forth by the Committee of Bar Examiner and per Education Code section 6060 of the California Business and Professions Code.
Further, there are also prerequisites for each program in order for a student to be admitted at Pacific West College of Law as set forth in its Admission Requirements.
Prospective student (Freshmen) are advised to sit in on an actual class to help them determine for themselves if they possess the drive to attempt to succeed in law school.
Additional Factors Considered for Admission
Applicants seeking admission at Pacific West College are evaluated based on an individual basis such as 1.) an applicant's potential for law study which is determined by the content and level of his or her prior academic endeavors 2.) life-time experience and achievements in his or her professional career 3.) the Law Students Admission Test (LSAT) references [if any] (New students are recommended to take The Law School Admission Test (LSAT), it is however not mandatory) and 4.) the admissions interview or personal interview designed to determine motivational factors, strength and weaknesses of a particular applicant. These factors are considered under a totality of circumstances on a case to case basis.
Applications from students who wish to transfer from other law school are considered according to individual merit and potential to continue the study of law. Pacific West College of Law will not discriminate on the basis of a grade earned where the previous law school awarded credit (subject to the provisions of Guideline 5.35). Units completed and listed on the former law school's transcript (subject to the provisions of Guideline 5.35 of the Guidelines for Unaccredited Law School Rules in California) will be allowed as transfer credit. Many students wanting a second chance at law school have found success at Pacific West College of Law.
Applicants interested in Pacific West College of Law should contact the Administrative Office to reserve a seat.
Applicants should complete their files and registration with the Admissions Office as soon as possible, but applications will be accepted through the first day of the fall or spring semester.
Board of Admission
The Board of Admissions will consider each applicant soon after all necessary items have been submitted to the Admissions Office.
POLICY ON COURSE REPETITION
AND AWARDING OF TRANSFER CREDITS
GENERAL POLICY AND PROCEDURE ON
If a failing grade has been received in a required course, that course must be repeated. If a failing grade has been received in the first semester of a 2-semester course a student may not continue into the second semester of that course until he/she has successfully completed the first-semester course. In such instances, the student should also review with an academic counselor his/her status relative to meeting the CBE’s “residence” requirement.
A student who repeats a required course (due to an F) receives the grade earned on the repeat effort only. Grade points, units attempted, and units earned for the prior attempt will not be included in grade-point average (GPA) calculations subsequent to the repeat effort. Nevertheless, such calculations prior to the repeat effort will not be affected. Cumulative units, grade points earned, and grade-point averages will be altered to reflect the repeat effort only at the point at which the course was repeated.
GENERAL POLICY ON COURSE REPETITION AND AWARDING OF TRANSFER CREDITS
Course Repetition and Awarding of Transfer credits is governed by Guidelines 5.23, Guidelines 5.24, Guidelines 5.34 and Guidelines 5.35 of the Guidelines for Unaccredited Law School Rules in California. PWCL will adhere to these Guidelines on matters of course repetition and awarding of transfer credits to a transfer student.
Pacific West College of Law does not have an established transfer or articulation agreement with any other law school.
Visitor Auditing a Class or Classes
An individual may enroll in a limited number of classes as a visitor provided that they can demonstrate that they have the ability and knowledge to benefit from the course(s) and will not be detrimental to those regularly enrolled students. Admission as visitor or auditor will be governed by Guidelines 5.36 Admission as Visitor, Auditor or Non-J.D. Degree Candidate of the Guidelines for Unaccredited Law School Rules.
VARIATION IN COLLEGE POLICIES
Variation in College Policies
In the event that there are any inconsistencies or conflicts with the Policies set forth herein and the rules and regulations of the California Committee of Bar Examiners then those rules and regulations by the California Bar Examiners shall control.
Any variation or waiver of College policies must be reflected in a memorandum in the Students file and supported by good cause.
Socorro O'Connell with Marie Royce
ADMISSION GUIDELINES PURSUANT TO GUIDELINES FOR UNACCREDITED LAW SCHOOL RULES
Guideline 5.22 of the Guidelines for Unaccredited Law School Rules
5.22 Disqualification of Students for Failure to Pass the First-Year Law Students’ Examination.
A student who does not pass the First-Year Law Students’ Examination within three (3) administrations after first becoming eligible to take the examination must be promptly disqualified from a law school’s J.D. program. A student who passes the First-Year Law Students’ Examination within three (3) administrations after first becoming eligible to take it will receive credit for all legal studies completed to the time the examination is passed. A student who does not pass within the three (3) administrations after first becoming eligible to take it, but who subsequently passes, is eligible for re-enrollment in the law school’s J.D. program, but will receive credit for only one year of legal study.
Guideline 5.23 of the Guidelines for Unaccredited Law School Rules
5.23 No Duplicate Credit for Course Repetition.
A law school must not grant duplicate credit for repetition of the same or substantially the same course, whether in the same law school or different law schools.
Guideline 5.24 of the Guidelines for Unaccredited Law School Rules
5.24 Written Policy on Course Repetition.
A law school must adopt a written policy on course repetition. The policy must identify when a course must be repeated. The policy must state the effect of the repetition on a student's grade point average, the amount of credit earned, and the course grade, and the effect on disqualification, probation, advancement, and graduation. The policy must identify when a course may be repeated. The policy must state the effect the repetition will have on the student's grade point average, the amount of credit earned, and the course grade.
Guideline 5.32 of the Guidelines for Unaccredited Law School Rules
5.32 Admission as a Regular Student
An applicant who has a bachelor's degree from an institution approved by the Committee is admissible as a Regular Student. An applicant who does not have a bachelor's degree, but who has completed at least one-half of the work required for a bachelor's degree at a college or university approved by the Committee, is admissible as a Regular Student. If the law school does not receive official transcripts establishing Regular Student status within forty-five (45) days after the term begins, the student must be reclassified as a Special Student, if admissible as a Special Student, or the student must be immediately disqualified as a student in the law school’s J.D. degree program.
Guideline 5.33 of the Guidelines for Unaccredited Law School Rules
5.33 Admission as a Special Student
An applicant whose pre-law studies do not satisfy the requirements of Guideline 5.32 must be classified as a Special Student. Admission of Special Students must be limited. An applicant may not be admitted as a Special Student unless he or she has satisfied the examination requirements (currently the College Level Equivalency Program examination) of § 6060(c)(2) of the California Business and Professions Code and Rule VII, Section 1 of the Rules Regulating Admission to Practice Law in California.
Guideline 5.34 of the Guidelines for Unaccredited Law School Rules
5.34 Admission of Applicants Previously Disqualified for Academic Reasons
Applicants previously disqualified for academic reasons may be granted admission when there is an affirmative showing by the applicant that he or she possesses the requisite ability for the study of law. Such a showing may be made:
(A) At any time, if the applicant presents credible evidence that the prior disqualification was not caused by the applicant's lack of capacity for the study of law, but resulted from a traumatic event or serious hardship that prohibited the applicant from performing at her or his normal level; or
(B) After at least two (2) years have elapsed since the disqualification, if the applicant demonstrates that work, study, or other experience during the interim has resulted in a stronger potential for law study than the applicant exhibited at the ti me he or she was previously disqualified for academic reasons.
In each case, the dean or admission officer must sign and place in the applicant's file a statement of the reasons for admitting the applicant.
Guideline 5.35 of the Guidelines for Unaccredited Law School Rules
5.35 Awarding of Transfer Credit.
The law school may award transfer credit to an applicant, subject to the following limitations:
(A) No credit may be granted unless the requirements of § 6060(h) of the California Business and Professions Code have been met, that is, unless the applicant has passed the First-Year Law Students’ Examination or became exempt while attending an accredited law school. To be exempt from the examination, the student must have successfully completed the first year at the accredited law school and have been advanced to the second year by the same law school.
(B) Credit should ordinarily be granted for whole courses completed not more than twenty-seven (27) months prior to the date the applicant begins study at the admitting law school. This time limitation does not apply to students who have passed the First-Year Law Students’ Examination. In some instances, such as illness, personal tragedy or military service, it may be appropriate to permit credit for studies completed more than twenty-seven (27) months prior to admission. The dean must approve any exception and an explanation must be placed in the student's file.
(C) For students who were disqualified for academic reasons at the prior law school, credit should be granted only for courses in which the applicant received a grade above passing. For students who were in good standing at the prior law school, credit may be granted for all passing grades. For all applicants who have passed the First-Year Law Students’ Examination, credit may be allowed in Torts, Contracts, and Criminal Law, even if the grades at the prior law school were not above passing.
(D) The admitting law school may not grant credit for a course completed at the prior law school in excess of the number of units the admitting law school would award for a course with the same number of classroom or participatory hours.
(E) The law school should be satisfied that the subject matter of, and the quality of the applicant's performance in, the courses for which credit is allowed, were substantially the same as that for like courses and grades in the admitting law school.
(F) A law school is not required to grant any credit allowable under Guideline 5.35(B).
Guideline 5.36 of the Guidelines for Unaccredited Law School Rules
5.36 Admission as Visitor, Auditor or Non-J.D. Degree Candidate
An individual may be permitted to enroll as a visitor, auditor, or non-J.D. degree candidate in a limited number of courses without complying with the law school's J.D. degree program admissions requirements. The law school must have a written policy to ensure that those admitted have the ability and knowledge to benefit from the course and that they will not interfere with the progress of, or be a detriment to, the regularly enrolled J.D. degree program students. Individuals permitted to enroll in courses under this guideline are not counted as law students, but should be identified as auditors, visitors, or non-J.D. degree candidates on the student certification reports submitted to the Committee.