Santa Clara University School of Law

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

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Santa Clara Law, centered in the heart of Silicon Valley just 40 miles south of San Francisco, is located on the lush, historic, 105-acre campus of Santa Clara University, California’s oldest operating institution of higher learning. The University was founded by the Jesuits in 1851 on the site of the Mission Santa Clara de Asís, one of California’s original 21 missions. Established in 1911, Santa Clara Law has fostered an exceptional academic program based on the Jesuit tradition for more than 100 years. Approved by the ABA, Santa Clara Law is a member of the Order of the Coif and the Association of American Law Schools.

Santa Clara Law is dedicated to educating lawyers who lead with a commitment to excellence, ethics, and social justice. The school offers students an academically rigorous program including certificates in high tech law, privacy law, international law, and public interest and social justice law, as well as numerous graduate and joint-degree options. Santa Clara Law is nationally distinguished for its faculty engagement, preparation for practice, and top-ranked programs in intellectual property.


Centered around a historic California Mission with beautiful gardens, Santa Clara Law is located in the heart of the Silicon Valley, one of the most vibrant and exciting economies in the world. South of the world-class city of San Francisco, Silicon Valley is a hotbed of innovation and home to leading law firms as well as numerous leading companies such as Google, Apple, eBay, Yahoo!, and Facebook. Unlike any place else on earth, the region is the epicenter of innovation, attracting extraordinary talent and resources. It is a proving ground for new scientific and technological industries and trailblazing ventures. Santa Clara Law is a major contributor to the economic and social strength of the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond through its students, faculty, signature programs, and the outstanding legal practitioners it provides to business, industry, and government. Santa Clara Law provides a substantial percentage of the law school graduates in the area, and there are exceptional opportunities for externships and careers in intellectual property, venture capital, biotechnology, antitrust, and privacy.

Santa Clara Law’s ideal location enhances the curriculum, including the nationally acclaimed high tech and intellectual property programs, which feature experienced Silicon Valley executives and attorneys who share their experience in courses, workshops, and lectures. Students also benefit from the school’s location through internship and job opportunities, lectures, and networking events.

In addition, the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most beautiful regions in the United States, and the Mediterranean climate boasts sun more than 300 days a year. North of Santa Clara are the world-class cities of Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco; southwest are the coastal towns of Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel, and Big Sur.


Santa Clara Law is one of the most diverse law schools in the nation, and the school offers an array of programs that encourage and support diversity. Santa Clara Law students learn with students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, and they are taught by a diverse and talented group of faculty members who are committed to an inclusive learning experience.

Thirty-eight percent of applicants for fall 2016 were from outside California, and the 2016 entering class included 49 percent minorities and 57 percent women.

Library and Physical Facilities

Santa Clara Law is on the campus of Santa Clara University, which has often been voted one of the most beautiful colleges in the nation. Towering palm trees, spacious lawns, and vibrant flower gardens create a peaceful and beautiful place to learn.

In 2018, Santa Clara Law celebrated an historic move to an all-new home—the Howard S. and Alida S. Charney Hall of Law, a state-of-the-art center for innovation and collaboration that will expand our impact in Silicon Valley and beyond. This inspiring, eco-friendly building—a modern interpretation of the Santa Clara University’s signature mission-style architecture—has flexible learning spaces, sophisticated classroom technology, and a library that is a nexus for digital information facilitated by a staff that specializes in supporting student and faculty research. Given the inherent connections among law, technology, business, ethics, and the social sciences, Charney Hall’s new campus location is ideal—right next door to the world-class Leavey School of Business and near both the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and the Political Science Department. Charney Hall is part of a vibrant professional district that encourages interdisciplinary curricular and programmatic collaboration and innovation, as well as opportunities for greater engagement with the local legal and business communities.

As members of the larger Santa Clara University community, law students have access to the full array of the larger campus facilities, including computer labs, the Cowell Student Health Center, the Benson Memorial Center, and the Pat Malley Fitness Center, which includes a well-equipped weight room, fitness classes, an outdoor pool, locker rooms with steam rooms and saunas, and courts for basketball, volleyball, and tennis.


Santa Clara Law offers a robust and flexible program, with day and evening classes, full- and part-time scheduling options, diversity outreach programs, and an academic and bar success program. More than 200 courses are available, and 86 semester units are required to graduate. The degrees offered are JD, JD/MBA, JD/MSIS, LLM in Intellectual Property Law, LLM in International and Comparative Law, and LLM in United States Law for non-US attorneys (with optional specializations in intellectual property, international and comparative law, and human rights law). An academic orientation introduces first-year students to the study of law. The first-year curriculum is prescribed.

The JD/MBA and the JD/MSIS combined-degree programs are a powerful union of Santa Clara’s nationally recognized School of Law and the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University. Students earn both degrees in a full-time program lasting three and one-half to four years.

International Law Certificate

Santa Clara Law’s International Law program sponsors summer law study and externship programs in more locations than any other American law school. Students can choose from programs in Munich, Germany; Geneva, Switzerland; Oxford, England; Singapore; Shanghai, China; The Hague, Netherlands; San Jose, Costa Rica; Tokyo, Japan; Vienna, Austria; and Sydney, Australia. Classes may be combined with externships at international law firms, UN organizations, governmental or nongovernmental organizations, and corporations. The thoughtfully structured externships and classes abroad prepare students for practice in a global economy. Completing a summer abroad helps students earn a Certificate in International Law.

High Tech Law or Privacy Law Certificate

With its central Silicon Valley location, Santa Clara Law is one of the top places in the country to study intellectual property, privacy, and high tech law, and our program is world renowned. Students learn from full-time faculty members with expertise in every aspect of intellectual property (IP) and high tech law, as well as adjunct faculty members who work at leading Silicon Valley firms and companies. Students have unparalleled internship opportunities with well-known companies and law firms working on the highest profile cutting-edge technologies. The IP and high tech curriculum is one of the largest in the country, and students can create a highly personalized course of study. Students can obtain a certificate in High Tech Law or Privacy Law, and can earn a combined JD/LLM in Intellectual Property Law on an accelerated basis.

Public Interest and Social Justice Law Certificate

The Santa Clara Law community has a true commitment to social justice, and many students choose to serve the poor and the marginalized while in law school through the school’s many clinics (see Clinical Programs below). Students also serve while they learn through programs offered by the Center for Social Justice and Public Service, which emphasizes the use of law and the legal system to improve the lives of marginalized, subordinated, or underrepresented clients and causes. Faculty members, many of whom do extensive pro bono work themselves, teach cutting-edge, social justice-oriented classes that provide theoretical, practical, and skills training. Students can earn a Public Interest and Social Justice Law Certificate and may select a special emphasis in one of seven areas: consumer law, criminal justice, critical race jurisprudence, environmental law, international environmental law, health law, or immigration and refugee law.

Clinical Programs and Externships

Santa Clara Law students can participate in a wide variety of clinical and field experiences that help develop their practical skills while in law school. The Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center offers clinics in immigration, workers’ rights, and consumer law. Other clinics include the International Human Rights Clinic, the Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic, and the Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara Law, where students help exonerate the wrongfully convicted through work with prisoners, crime and evidence labs, law enforcement, defense attorneys, and prosecutors. In these clinics, students work on real cases under the guidance of attorney mentors. Working with faculty, students can also tailor externship experiences to their interest, enabling them to work in a variety of settings including law firms, in-house corporate counsels, government agencies, courts (including the California Supreme Court or the US District Court), or public interest organizations.

Student Activities

Santa Clara Law has many student groups, including an extensive array of identity group organizations and national and international moot court teams. The school’s quarterly, Santa Clara Law Review, is published by a student editorial board. The Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal provides a practical resource for the high tech industry and legal community. The Santa Clara Journal of International Law is a respected, peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Through the Student Bar Association (SBA) and student-faculty committees, students participate in the decision processes of the school. The SBA’s community service committee organizes numerous volunteer events throughout the year. Law students also participate in intramural sports through the Malley Fitness Center at Santa Clara University.

Career Management

The Office of Career Management empowers students to achieve their professional goals by connecting them to resources to successfully embark on the application process, and connecting them to the employer and alumni communities. The Office offers many programs and services to help students launch a career: on-campus interviewing, job fairs, mock interviews, diversity receptions, speed networking, and more. A premier group of alumni advises the Office of Career Management, including general counsels of technology companies, managing partners from major law firms, and federal and state judges. The office responds quickly to the evolving legal market, attracts a robust body of employers to its on-campus interview programs, and connects students to the active alumni network of more than 11,000, many of whom act as mentors and coaches for students.


Santa Clara Law seeks to enroll a diverse student body to help diversify the legal profession and enhance its educational environment. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in the fall. The Admissions Committee, which includes faculty members, considers many factors including LSAT score, academic record, personal statement, letters of recommendation, résumé, and any other information provided. When the LSAT is repeated, the highest score received is used. The committee may also consider an applicant’s special interests, life experiences, accomplishments, goals, and motivation for studying law.

Applicants are encouraged to visit the campus. The Admissions Office can arrange for applicants to tour the campus, attend a class, and meet with an admission counselor. A series of admission events for prospective students is held each fall.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Santa Clara:

3.35 to 3.72

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Santa Clara:

156 to 162

25-75% UGPA Range at Santa Clara:

3.35 to 3.72

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Santa Clara:

156 to 162

25-75% UGPA Range at Santa Clara:

3.35 to 3.72

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Santa Clara:

156 to 162

Contact Information

500 El Camino Real,
Santa Clara, CA 95053,
United States