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"Excellence through knowledge, Achievement through Commitment"


Note: Not all professors teach every semester. 

Professor Haasty Sara Bassiri

(J.D. Pacific West College of Law)

Professor Bassiri is an associate attorney at Hudson & Associates located in Irvine, where she practices Civil and Family law. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Pacific West College of Law in 2012 and was in the honor roll during her attendance. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Political Science degree from University of Irvine – California.

She taught Appellate Advocacy and Property.

Professor James A. Coulter, III

(J.D. Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu)

Professor Coulter is a former Orange County District Attorney and had been the supervising District Attorney for various Courts as well as the head of the “Hate Crimes Unit” for Orange County. He is currently practicing in the private sector as a Defense attorney. Professor Coulter classes include Evidence, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Professional Responsibility, Trial Practice and Criminal Procedure.

Professor William B. Dixon

(J.D. Western State University)

Professor Dixon has been a license attorney since 1976. Dean Dixon made his career in legal education. He was associate dean and professor of torts and trusts at Western State University College of Law, Fullerton, where he worked for 20 years. Currently, he is the Director of Paralegal Studies and an instructor at South Coast College, Orange, California.

Dr. Dixon is currently the Faculty President of Pacific West College of Law.

Professor Heather Helene Duro

(J.D. Pacific West College of Law)

Professor Duro is a practicing attorney. She was admitted to the Bar in 2009. She earned her Bachelor's degree at the University of Redlands and received her Juris Doctor from Pacific West College of Law in which she graduated with distinguished honor.

She taught Torts and American Jurisprudence.

Professor Vinh The Do

(J.D. Pacific West College of Law)

Professor Do is a practicing attorney. He was admitted to the Bar in 2013. He earned his Bachelor's Degree at Cal State Fullerton and received his Juris Doctor from Pacific West College of Law in which he graduated with distinguished honor.

He taught Contracts and Appellate Advocacy.

Professor Christopher Holm

(J.D. Pacific West College of Law)

Professor Holm is a practicing attorney. He was recently admitted to the bar (2016). He graduated from Pacific West College of Law. He earned his Bachelor's degree at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, Arkansas.

He teaches Torts.

Professor Daniel L. Jacobson

(J.D. Western State University College of Law)

Although Daniel Lee Jacobson has been a full-time attorney since 1988, for most his legal career Professor Jacobson has also taught law school. He is one of California’s most respected and prolific authors of legal scholarly articles. With 23 of Professor Jacobson’s articles published in California’s leading legal journals, Professor Jacobson has and continues to not only educate Pacific West’s students, but to also has and continues to educate the California legal profession as a whole.

Professor Jacobson is a governor on the Board of Governors of the California Insurance Guarantee Association, having been appointed to that position by John Garamendi when Lieutenant Governor Garamendi was California’s Insurance Commissioner. Professor Jacobson is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy, having received that appointment from the County of Orange.

Professor Jacobson has served as a temporary judge on the Orange County Superior Court, as an arbitrator for both the San Bernardino Superior Court and the Better Business Bureau, and as a mediator. He is a lifetime member of Friends of the Tustin Library, and is retired from the Board of Directors of the Nanette Brody Dance Theater, the Long Beach Commission on Youth, and the California Democratic Party’s Central Committee. Professor Jacobson teaches U.C.C., Business Organizations and Trial Practice.

Professor Thomas Lo

(J.D. Western State University College of Law)

Professor Lo is a Senior Deputy Public Defender for the County of Orange. He is assigned to the felony panel division in Santa Ana, and handles complex felony cases. Professor Lo brings much practical experience to our school in the areas of Criminal Law, Evidence, Trial Practice and Constitutional Law. He is also a mentor for elementary school children in the Santa Ana School District, and a strong advocate of the homeless.

Dean Kevin O'Connell

(J.D. Western State University College of Law)


Licensed Attorney in Private Practice since 1982 to present with 32 years of experience.

Licensed by the Supreme Court of California since 1982 to present.

Licensed by the Ninth Circuit court of Appeals since 1983 to present.

Licensed by the Central District of California since 1983 to present.

Licensed Talent Agent by the State of California for the year 1990.

Licensed by the United State Tax Court since 1994 to present.

Licensed by the State of Michoacán Mexico for year 1996.

Licensed by the Supreme Court of the United States since 2011 to present


Practice in both Federal and States Courts for over 30 years.

Handled and Litigated a First Degree Murder (Double Homicide) case People v. Le

Handled and Litigated an Appeal of a Murder Conviction People v. Do

Handled and Litigated a Second Degree Murder with an Insanity Defense People v. Petrisca

Handled and Litigated a five (5) Counts of Attempted Murder case People v. Chimm

Handled and Litigated a Rape and Burglary case People v. Sok

Handled and Litigated a Kidnapping for Ransom case People v. Nguyen

Handled and Litigated a Kidnapping and Carjacking case People v. Alpizar

Handled and Litigated a Clean Water Violation case United States v. Cooper

Handled and Litigated a Foreign Extradition case United States v. Choe

Handled and Litigated a Medicare Fraud case United States v. Powers

Handled and Litigated Civil Appeals case Herrera v. A & P Auto Sales

Handled and Litigated for Defense on a Federal Insurance Fraud case Century Surety Company v. Nguyen/Scratch Billiards Sports Grill

Handled and Litigated numerous Felonies and Misdemeanor cases ranging from 1st to 3rd strikes

Handled and Litigated numerous Personal Injury cases varying from Auto Accidents, Police Brutalities, Discriminations and Slip and Falls

Handled and Litigated several Medical Malpractice cases

Handled and Litigated for defendants several ADA violation cases

Handled and Litigated numerous Business Contracts cases

Handled and Litigated several Real Estate cases

Formed more than 50 Corporate and Business Entities for numerous clients

Handled several Bankruptcy cases

Handled several Immigration Application cases

Handled several Unlawful Detainer cases

Handled and Litigated numerous Landlord-Tenant Disputes


Expert witness on a Murder case featured in Orange Coast Magazine entitled “JUSTICE DELAYED” (January 1999 Edition)


Goehring v. Chapman University (2004) 121 Cal. App.4th 353, Cal.Rptr.3d


Criminal Law (Defense)

Workers Compensation (Applicant and Defense)

Immigration Law (Applicant and Defense and Litigation)

Bankruptcy (Applicant and Litigation)

Personal Injury (Plaintiff and Defense and Litigation)

Medical Malpractice (Plaintiff and Defense and Litigation)

Landlord Tenant (Plaintiff and Defense and Litigation)

Police Brutality, Civil Rights (Plaintiff and Litigation)

Civil and Business Transactions (Plaintiff and Defense and Litigation)

Wrongful Termination (Plaintiff and Defense and Litigation)

Insurance Law, Premise Liability (Plaintiff and Defense and Litigation)

Appellate Litigation (Civil Plaintiff and Defense and Criminal Defense)

Parole Hearing (Defense)

Corporate and Business Entity (Formation and Management)

Probate, Wills and Trust (Litigation)

Family Law (Litigation)

Copyright and Trademark (Application and Litigation)

Tax Law (Defense and Litigation)

Indian Law (Defense and Litigation)

Malicious Prosecution (Plaintiff and Defense and Litigation)

California State Bar Court Litigation (Defense and Litigation)


Founded the Law Offices of Kevin O’Connell & Associates in1982.

Founded the O’Connell College of Law Inc., Doing Business as Pacific West College of Law in 1993.

Designed, Implemented and Obtained State of California approval for the Bachelor of Science in Law and Juris Doctor Degree in 1993.

Designed, Implemented and Obtained State of California approval for Master of Arts in Law Degree in 1995.

Co-designed, Implemented and Obtained State of California approval for L.L.M. Environmental Law Degree in 1995.

Assisted the design, Implemented and Obtained State of California approval for the L.L. M. in Taxation Degree in 1995.

Designed and implemented a Law School Student Exchange Program with Vasco De Quiroga Law School Michoacán Mexico in the year 1996.

Designed, Implemented and Obtained State of California approval of Law Courses which includes Legal Analysis I, Legal Analysis II, Complex Theories of Law I, Complex Theories of Law II, Trial Practice I and Trial Practice II, Dissolution of Business Entities.

Graduation Speaker at American Liberty University.

Graduation Speaker at South Coast College

Graduation Speaker at Pacific West College of Law

Chairman of the Board – Pacific West College of Law

Chief Executive Officer – Pacific West College of Law


Law Professor for over 30 years at Various Law Schools.

Dean at Pacific West College of Law for over 21 years from 1993 to present.

Law Professor at Western State University College of Law from 1983 to 1984.

Law Professor at American College of Law from 1984 to Early 1993.

Guest Lecturer at Pepperdine Executive MBA Program from 1992 to 1993.

Law Professor at Pacific West College of Law from 1993 to present.

Guest Lecturer in numerous occasions at South Coast College Paralegal Program.

Member of the Law Schools Council of the State Bar of California from 2008 to 2010.


Bachelor of Science in Law and Juris Doctor Degree/Program - Courses Taught:

Contracts I, Contracts II, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Legal analysis I, Legal Analysis II,Complex theories of Law I,Trusts, Wills, Professional Responsibility, Uniform Commercial Code, Business Organizations I, Business Organizations II, Constitutional Law I, Constitutional Law II, Civil Procedure I, Civil Procedure II, Civil Procedure III,Trial Practice I, Trial Practice II, Evidence I, Evidence II,Remedies I, Remedies I, Entertainment Law, Indian Law, Sports Law and Environmental Law

Master of Arts in Law Degree/Program – Courses Taught:

Transaction in Goods, Rights and Liabilities involved in Sole Proprietorships and Partnership,

Rights and Liabilities involved in Corporations

Contractual Relationships in the Business World

Products Liability

Contractual Relationships in the Business World

Negotiations A and B

Labor and Employment Law

International Law

Dissolution of Business Entities


JURIS DOCTOR – Western State College of Law

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN LAW – Western State College of Law

ASSOCIATE DEGREE – Saddleback College

Professor Socorro O'Connell

(J.D. Pacific West College of Law)

Professor O’Connell hails from Philippines. She graduated Valedictorian in High School, she was a recipient of 12 Academic medals and a recipient of Philippine Senate Medal of Academic Excellence Award. She was active in both academic and extra curricular activities. She served as the Editor-in-Chief of her High School Publication called “The Seagull” and was a band majorette. She was also a recipient of a leadership award upon her high school graduation. She competed as delegate for the Provincial Damath (an educational board game which is a fusion of checkers and mathematics) competition in the Philippines.

At the age of 21, she graduated Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Saint Vincent College (Philippines). She was a recipient of Academic Medals for Taxation and Accounting. She was also recipient of a Leadership Award in College for serving as the Vice President of the Supreme Student Government.

During her High School and College years, she won numerous essay writing contests, declamation contests, oratorical and extemporaneous speaking contests and was a recipient of the “Declaimer of the Year” award in high school. She directed a student play called the “Crucifixion” during the College talent exposition and bagged the first place in that category. She participated in several beauty pageants like Mutya ng Baliguian and Ms. JPIA Ambassadress of Goodwill.

During College she participated in the Taxation Quiz Bowl Competition sponsored jointly by the Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue and Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Zamboanga Del Norte Chapter. She also participated and attended numerous Seminars and Symposiums such as: Seminar on Cooperativism, Business Principles and Success Factors and Employment Facilitation sponsored jointly by Saint Vincent College and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE Philippines), she attended numerous JPIA Regional Conventions and attended Symposium on Business Documentation and Procedures sponsored by Dipolog Chamber of Commerce (Philippines).

She was a recipient of pesfa scholarship for her entire College years (1999 to 2003) sponsored by the Philippine Commission on Higher Education.

She holds a Philippine Certificate of Eligibility issued by the Philippine Civil Service Commission by passing the Career Service Professional Exam garnering an average of 86.22%.

While in the Philippines, she worked for a Local Municipal Government Unit and later worked for a large Manufacturing and Oleochemical Company in Cebu City Philippines in its Administrative Services Department reporting directly to the Company’s Vice-President for Administration and Finance and later added her workload by also working in the Accounting Department.

In 2010, she obtained her Master of Arts in Law Degree. In 2014, she obtained Bachelor of Science in Law Degree and in 2015 she obtained her Jurisprudence Doctorate in Law Degree from Pacific West College of Law graduating Summa Cum Laude.

Prior to her graduation from law School, she was a certified law student by the State Bar of California, during her third year in Law School, she sat in numerous depositions, participated in several mediations, sat in numerous court hearings, wrote several motions and oppositions and conducted a default prove up trial in the Superior Court of San Bernardino.

Prior to graduation from Law school, she also sat as second chair to her supervising attorney on a Bench trial in the Superior Court of Orange County, she delivered the opening statement, conducted cross examination of a witness and delivered the closing arguments at the conclusion of the trial.

She loves to travel and have travelled 14 different States in the United States multiple times.

She volunteered her time, initiated and launched the MOCK BABY Bar program at Pacific West.

She teaches Legal Analysis I, Property, Complex Theories of Law I and II Community Property and Torts I and II. She currently serves as the Dean of Academics for Pacific West College of Law.

Professor Paul Taylor Smith

(J.D. Western State University College of Law)

B.A., California State University, San Bernardino with Honors. MBA Claremont Graduate University, with Distinction. J.D., Western State University, Cum Laude. Further post-graduate education at University of California School of Law, University of Southern California School of Law, and Loyola Law School.

Professor Smith was admitted to the bar in 1990 and has extensive experience in civil litigation, criminal defense, family law, and appeals. He was primary counsel on two published appellate decisions, one of which, Andrews v. Mobile Aire Estates, (2005) 125 Cal.App.4th 578, greatly expanded the protection the law requires landlords to provide their tenants. He teaches Professional Responsibility, Civil Procedure, and Evidence.

Professor Christopher M. Strobel

(J.D. American College of Law)

Professor Strobel has been a license attorney since 1989. He is currently in private practice. He has been employed by the Orange County Deputy Public Defenders Office for over eight years. He was responsible for the representation of indigent defendants in criminal matters.

His scope of representation included the handling of misdemeanors and felonies from arraignment to sentencing including writs and appeals. He also specializes in Juvenile Law.

Professor Strobel teaches Evidence and Criminal Law.

Professor Sasan (Sean) Vahdat

(J.D. Pacific West College of Law)

Professor Vahdat has been a licensed attorney since 2005. He graduated with Summa Cum Laude, and Am Jured 22 classes. Professor Vahdat is currently, sole practitioner and focusing in Business litigation, and Personal Injury. He teaches Contracts, Criminal Law, Torts, and Remedies.

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