University of California, Irvine School of Law
The information on this page was provided by the law school.
Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs
University of California, Irvine School of Law (UCI Law) is an innovative and visionary law school focused on training talented and passionate lawyers and driven by academic excellence, intellectual rigor, and a commitment to enrich our communities through public service. The school opened its doors to its first class of 60 law students in fall 2009. Today, UCI Law has 48 full-time faculty members, 420 JD students and 11 students in its inaugural LLM degree program.
UCI Law also has 7 teaching law librarians, 34 adjunct faculty members, 14 affiliated faculty appointments, and 2 visiting faculty. The student-to-faculty ratio is very low, approximately 8 to 1.
Since its founding, UCI Law has emerged as a top law school in the country in preparing students for the practice of law at the highest levels of the profession. It also is among the top law schools in the country in community service hours per student. UCI Law combines the best aspects of a collegial, supportive, and friendly environment with the power and opportunity that only a large and renowned academic institution can provide. The law school’s innovative curriculum stresses collaborative, hands-on learning and public service. Interdisciplinary study is also at the heart of UCI Law, and there are several concurrent-degree programs that students may wish to consider.
Our students are exposed to outstanding postgraduation professional opportunities, including federal judicial clerkships, large law firm employment, and public interest legal positions locally and nationally. Ninety percent of UCI Law graduates from the class of 2016 were placed in full-time jobs that require a JD or began pursuing an advanced degree within 10 months of graduation. Additionally, UCI Law is recognized both statewide and nationally for placement in federal judicial clerkships.
Information for Prospective Students
Prospective students are encouraged to contact the Admissions Office to learn more about UC Irvine School of Law:
The Admissions Office also attends recruiting events across the country and hosts information sessions, class visits, and tours on a regular basis.
Orange County, California
Our prime location in central Orange County, California—one hour south of Los Angeles and one hour north of San Diego—makes UCI a highly attractive place to attend law school. Located about 10 minutes from the beach, the UCI campus is situated in Irvine, California. The city of Irvine is consistently regarded as one of the safest cities of its size in the United States. Among Irvine’s many benefits are its pleasant year-round climate and easy access to many cultural, entertainment, and outdoor attractions. In addition, Southern California is a vast, highly desirable and sophisticated legal market home to prestigious international law firms, regional firms, and prominent public interest organizations in Orange County as well as in adjacent Los Angeles and San Diego Counties. Orange County boasts a large and diverse economy and is home to some of the world’s largest companies and entrepreneurial small startups. The business climate offers emphasis in a myriad of sectors, including real estate, high technology, international trade, health care, and life sciences.
UCI Law enjoys modern classroom facilities on a beautiful and expansive campus. UCI is as beautiful as its surrounding Orange County location. The campus itself is centered around tranquil Aldrich Park—a 19-acre botanical garden. The campus also is home to a vibrant performing arts program, a wide range of athletic facilities and teams, the Arts Plaza (a unique, outdoor gallery and performance space), the Anteater Recreation Center, and the Irvine Barclay Theatre. The Bren Events Center provides an exciting and prestigious array of music, performance, exhibition, sporting, and other public events.
With UC Irvine’s ideal Orange County location—surrounded by coastline, mountains, and desert—students have a wealth of recreational and cultural options and venues. The Irvine Ranch Land Reserve includes 37,000 acres designated as a National Natural Landmark. From nearby Disneyland and other theme parks, to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and the South Coast Repertory theater company, there’s always something exciting to do.
UCI Law admits first-year JD students and transfer students only in the fall semester; visiting students are accepted in both fall and spring. The basic requirements for admission to UCI Law are a bachelor’s degree earned prior to the beginning of the first law school semester from an accredited institution of higher education and a valid LSAT score. Please refer to the online application instructions for more information about the specific components of the application process.
All applicants must submit a completed application form, official transcripts, at least two letters of recommendation, and a valid LSAT score not more than five years old. There is no application fee. Applicants must also register with LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
UCI Law has created a community of law students from a broad spectrum of society, with strong qualifications and the greatest potential to contribute to the diversity and intellectual vibrancy of the law school.
Classes at UCI Law are taught by a brilliant group of dedicated and welcoming faculty. Our faculty members are extraordinary, renowned experts and scholars. Equally important, they are also superb teachers and devoted mentors. This unbeatable combination makes UCI Law a unique, dynamic, and diverse intellectual community in which to learn and thrive.
UCI Law faculty scholarship and teaching encompass a broad range of expertise, including antitrust, biotechnology, business law, civil procedure, civil rights, clinical education, constitutional law, consumer law, criminal law, cyber law, diversity, education and law, election law, environmental law, equality and discrimination, family law, immigration law, intellectual property law, international dispute resolution, international human rights law, gender and law, government regulation and policy, law and philosophy, law and psychology, legal ethics and professional responsibility, tax, torts, and urban planning.
Since its inaugural year, UCI Law has drawn students with high median grade-point averages and LSAT scores. The student-to-faculty ratio of 8 to 1 ensures small classes and easy access to professors outside the classroom.
UCI Law is proud to have some of the nation’s most qualified, diverse, and highly motivated law students from the best institutions in the country with myriad professional experiences. In fact, UCI Law has been recognized as a top campus for student diversity.
According to the 2016 Law School Survey of Student Engagement, UCI Law students far outpaced the national average in overall satisfaction in law school. Thanks to our students’ strong relationships with their peers; a welcoming and supportive faculty, administrative team, legal community and alumni base; and an unparalleled location in the heart of Orange County, our students have ample opportunities to thrive.
Library and Physical Facilities
The University of California, Irvine School of Law Library supports the research and educational needs of the law school community. Located on the lower two floors of the Law Building, it is open 90 hours a week and comfortably seats about 400. To facilitate group study, students have access to 10 study rooms and a multimedia conference room. The law library maintains a comprehensive collection of primary and secondary materials that support the law school’s curriculum and scholarship, and its outstanding staff offers a variety of research and instructional support services. Wireless access throughout the library and computer lab facilitates access to the library’s impressive collection of online resources. Students also have access to the extensive collection of print and online resources available at all UCI campus libraries.
The law school occupies space in three buildings, which face each other across a shared courtyard and open parking lot:
- The Law Building houses faculty offices, classrooms, and the law library.
- The first floor of the Education Building is where the law school’s administrative office suite is located, along with the large, tiered classrooms and moot court classroom.
- The Multipurpose Academic and Administrative (MPAA) Building contains additional classrooms, clinic space, the Office of Admissions and Student Financial Services, a student lounge, student organization offices, locker rooms, and several faculty offices. Other academic units also occupy limited space in the MPAA building, including the Paul Merage School of Business.
The law school’s central location on campus supports integration and interdisciplinary collaboration with the entire university.
UCI Law has an innovative curriculum designed to prepare students for the practice of law at the highest levels of the profession. The first-year JD curriculum teaches students areas of legal doctrine traditionally taught in the first year, but in an innovative way that focuses on teaching methods of legal analysis and skills that all lawyers use.
Students thus receive an education that includes the traditional areas of legal doctrine, but in an innovative context designed to prepare them for modern legal practice. All first-year students are also assigned a lawyer-mentor from the local legal community.
There is an active pro bono program in which students have the opportunity to do volunteer work in many different contexts beginning in their first year. UCI Law also is the only ABA-accredited law school in the nation that both requires and offers an in-house clinical opportunity to every student, which helps prepare them for employment at law firms, public interest and government agencies, major corporations, and federal and state judicial clerkships.
Student organizations are a vital part of student life at UCI Law. There are a variety of student organizations that actively produce activities and events for the campus community. UCI Law also offers a variety of mentoring opportunities. It is important to be connected to fellow classmates and attorneys in the community, so we encourage students to participate in these programs. The Community Fellows program is one of the mentoring opportunities created to assist first-year students with the transition to law school and the culture at UCI Law. Community Fellows can offer perspectives on class preparation, outlining, exam preparation, the job search, cocurricular activities, social life in Orange County, and life/work balance. The Community Fellows also host a variety of small gatherings and large events to connect first-year students with the larger campus community.
Expenses and Financial Aid
The Office of Student Financial Services determines eligibility for institutional financial aid and ensures that eligible students are appropriately awarded federal student aid. UCI Law offers merit-based and need-based aid, as well as other types of scholarships. Students are encouraged to submit their FAFSA application on time to ensure delivery of funds, both scholarships and loans.
In addition to managing the delivery of all types of financial aid funds, we offer law students financial services in the form of loan counseling, advice on maintaining financial aid eligibility, specialty information workshops, and web-based tools to manage an education loan portfolio.
Career Development: Providing a Framework for Success
The Career Development Office (CDO) at UCI Law supports our students in three critical areas:
- Job search: The legal profession comprises many areas of practice, each requiring distinct knowledge, skills, and abilities. Throughout the academic year, the CDO conducts panel discussions, brown-bag lunches, and workshops covering a broad range of topics, including job-search basics, substantive practice overviews, and self-assessment. Each student works individually with an attorney-advisor to craft their strategic career path.
- Career education and professional development: The CDO educates students regarding legal employment opportunities with public interest organizations, government entities, law firms, corporate legal departments, and other practice settings. The CDO also works closely with students to develop the professional skills necessary to enter the job market as competitive, practice-ready applicants.
- Recruiting and networking opportunities: The CDO organizes on- and off-campus interview opportunities, panels, and receptions with legal employers.