Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Introduction

Established in 1995, the Dale E. Fowler School of Law at Chapman University is ABA accredited and a member of the prestigious Association of American Law Schools. Chapman University was established in 1861. Located in the historic and vibrant Old Towne district of Orange, California, the law school is recognized for its high-caliber faculty, wide range of academic programs, state-of-the-art facilities, and commitment to a dynamic and personalized legal education. The school lays a real foundation for practice through a range of practice-oriented and experiential courses. In 2013, the law school received a historic $55 million endowment from Dale and Sarah Ann Fowler that will help bring top faculty and programs for many years to come. Students select from a variety of program options to gain expertise in their chosen area of law, including participation in emphasis certificate programs, joint-degree opportunities, legal clinics, and award-winning advocacy competition teams. It has one of the lowest student-to-faculty ratios in the nation and provides a comprehensive third-year bar preparation program that has placed Fowler School of Law graduates among the best in the state for bar passage. The law school has emphasis programs in advocacy and dispute resolution, business law, criminal law, entertainment law, environmental/land use/real estate, international law, and tax law. It also offers two joint-degree programs—a JD/MBA and a JD/MFA for film and television producing. Clinical opportunities are available in constitutional jurisprudence, elder law, entertainment law, family protection, mediation, and tax law. The popular externship program provides rewarding opportunities to attain real-world experience by working for judges, government agencies, corporations, and public interest organizations.

The Fowler School of Law student body benefits greatly from the school’s location in Orange County’s dynamic legal and business hub. The quality of life at the school and in the surrounding area is nationally recognized. Our location on the Chapman University campus allows for cross-disciplinary options, joint degrees, and a lively and engaging intellectual environment beyond the classroom. Chapman University offers a broad selection of artistic and cultural opportunities for its students.

Enrollment and Student Body

The Fowler School of Law has committed itself to building a small, talented, and diverse student body. Total JD student enrollment in 2017–2018 is approximately 491 law students, consisting of 472 full-time and 19 part-time students.

The 2017 entering class consists of 167 law students. The students are divided into three first-year sections. The Legal Research and Writing course has a maximum of 22 students in each of eight sections. Currently, about 14 percent of the entering class comes from outside California, and the minority enrollment is 43 percent. Competition for seats in the class is keen. Approximately 38 percent of applicants in the 2017 applicant pool were admitted.

Total LLM student enrollment in 2017–2018 is approximately 26 students, consisting of 24 full-time and two part-time students.

Faculty

The Fowler School of Law has assembled an impressive faculty that includes four former United States Supreme Court clerks, a Nobel Prize winner, and former members of prestigious law firms. Fowler School of Law professors are engaging classroom teachers, accomplished scholars, and outstanding mentors. Full-time faculty members are joined by a prestigious array of accomplished practitioner adjunct professors who help students learn the skills needed to guide them seamlessly from the classroom to the real world of practice. Students have frequent opportunities to work closely with faculty members in both formal and informal settings.

Library and Physical Facilities

The Fowler School of Law Library supports the research and educational needs of the law school community with a large collection of resources, both online and in print. Law library staff provide in-depth research instruction and reference assistance. Ample space for study can be found within, including 11 group-study rooms exclusively for law students. Wireless access is available throughout the building.

Special Programs, Clinics, and Externships

The law school offers JD/MBA and JD/MFA programs, affording students the opportunity to earn the equivalent of two accredited professional degrees in four years instead of the typical five. Chapman’s George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics is AACSB accredited. Our Dodge College of Film and Media Arts is housed in a state-of-the-art building with the latest digital technology.

Some students may focus their electives in one of six certificate areas:

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Business Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Entertainment Law
  • Environmental/Real Estate/Land Use
  • International Law
  • Tax Law

The Tax Law Emphasis Program affords students the opportunity to represent claimants against the IRS in the US Tax Court Clinic. In the Externship Program, students work with appellate judges, trial judges, district attorneys, public defenders, and administrative agencies as well as corporate legal departments and law firms, where they gain hands-on experience and academic credit.

Clinic offerings include constitutional litigation, elder law, entertainment law, family protection/immigration law, mediation, and tax law. Clinics allow students opportunities to represent actual clients in an array of legal settings. The clinics cover a range of unique legal areas, from the Entertainment Law Clinic, where students serve as legal counsel for independent filmmakers, to our Constitutional Jurisprudence Clinic, where students assist in the writing of legal briefs that are filed as high as the United States Supreme Court.

The law school also cohosts a unique summer study-abroad program at Cambridge in London. Students choose among several course offerings, including the English Legal System and European Union, Comparative Trial Systems, and Resolving Disputes Across Cultures.

Admission

Each application is individually reviewed, and the applicant’s entire file is considered in the review process. There are many factors utilized in the decision-making process. In addition to cumulative undergraduate GPA and LSAT score(s), other components are also considered in determining the applicant’s potential to succeed in law school. Such indicators include nature and rigor of the undergraduate discipline, an upward trend in academic performance, types of courses completed, writing ability, work experience, graduate-level courses taken and degrees earned, scholarly achievements, community and volunteer service, research projects, demonstrated leadership ability, life experiences, obstacles overcome, and fluency in foreign languages.

Student Curricular and Cocurricular Activities

The Fowler School of Law offers many activities that enrich the academic program and provide important training in leadership and community service. The Chapman Law Review is a scholarly journal that offers valuable experience in research, writing, and editing. The Student Bar Association administers a full range of programs. Other organizations include, but are not limited to, the Minority Law Students Association, the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, the Public Interest Law Foundation, OUTLaw (an LGBT organization), the Muslim and Allies Humanitarian Law Society, the Entertainment and Sports Law Society, the Air and Space Law Society, the Intellectual Property Law Society, and the Black Law Student Association.

The law school offers a range of advocacy experiences through the competition boards, including participation in mock trial, moot court, client counseling, international law, mediation, and negotiation competitions.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

The Fowler School of Law offers a generous merit-based scholarship program. Over $4.8 million in merit-based scholarship funds was awarded to the 2017–2018 entering class. Merit-based scholarships can be renewed provided the scholar receives a cumulative 2.90 GPA measured at the end of each spring term. In addition, students who did not qualify for an entering merit-based scholarship are eligible to earn a scholarship if they rank in the top 15 percent of their cohort group at the end of their 1L year.

Career Services

Chapman University Fowler School of Law’s Career Services Office (CSO) offers comprehensive career and professional development services to law students and alumni. The CSO is staffed by a director; two assistant directors, including an alumni and third-year student counselor; and recruiting manager, all of whom hold JD degrees. The attorney counselors help match students’ education, skills, and interests with employment opportunities. In keeping with its mission of personalized education, and in recognition of the changing legal job market and challenges that recent graduates face, Fowler School of Law has implemented a Professional Development Graduation requirement, which includes regular one-on-one counseling sessions to guide students in developing their career paths, as well as workshops taught by practitioners from the community that cover a range of topics such as ethics and business development, among others, to ensure students’ successful transition from the classroom into practice. The CSO provides a wide variety of services, resources, and programming, including our Mentor and Mock Interviews Programs. Counselors meet frequently with students to review résumés and cover letters, to help in self-assessment, to provide job search skills training, and to assist them in building professional networks. The CSO also facilitates interviews for students with legal employers during fall and spring On-Campus Interview and Résumé Collection Programs.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Chapman:

3.26 to 3.66

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Chapman:

154 to 160

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Chapman:

3.26 to 3.66

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Chapman:

154 to 160

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Chapman:

3.26 to 3.66

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Chapman:

154 to 160

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

1 University Drive,
Orange, CA 92866,
United States