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The Golden State is home to some of the best family law schools in the nation, and it’s no surprise.
California is the most populous state in the country, and its residents have long been known for their entrepreneurial spirit—and for their love of family. But when it comes to family law cases, California residents also have a reputation for being extremely litigious. In fact, many people consider California to be a “divorce mill”—a state where divorces are handled quickly and efficiently by lawyers who specialize in this area of practice.
If you’re considering pursuing a degree in family law (also called domestic relations or domestic relations law), California has several great options available for prospective students:
University of San Diego School of Law (San Diego)
University of La Verne College of Law (La Verne)
Whittier Law School (Whittier)
Best Family Law Schools In California
Welcome to our list of the best family law programs in California! This guide will help you understand what it takes to become a family lawyer, how much money you can expect to make, and what kind of job opportunities await you once you graduate. We’ll also cover the requirements for admission into law school as well as whether or not your undergraduate degree matters. Finally, we will give an overview of some schools that offer good programs in this field so you can make an informed decision on where to apply–
University of Southern California, Gould School of Law
USC Gould School of Law is a private, non-profit law school located in Los Angeles, California. The school was founded in 1896 and is consistently ranked among the top 25 law schools in the nation by US News & World Report. USC Gould offers both a two-year Juris Doctor program and an LLM program for foreign attorneys who wish to practice law in the United States.
Pepperdine University, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution
Pepperdine University, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution is one of the top schools to learn about dispute resolution strategies. The school is located in Malibu, California and boasts a beautiful location that makes it easy to study while enjoying the outdoors.
Santa Clara University, School of Law
Santa Clara University School of Law is one of the oldest law schools in California. The school provides students with a broad range of courses in family law, including classes on child custody and visitation, family disputes, spousal support and property division.
Santa Clara has a large number of students from diverse backgrounds. For example, 70% of its current 1L class is made up of women (compared to just 46% at Harvard), while over 30% are Asian or Asian-American (compared to just 22% at Harvard). Additionally, 35% identify as Hispanic/Latino or Latino American — double that of Harvard’s 20%. The university also has an active program geared toward supporting veterans who wish to attend law school; there are currently 25 veterans enrolled at Santa Clara’s School of Law.
The university has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion within its student body as well as within its faculty members: all first-year students participate in community service events; there is an active chapter for LGBT students; and since 2007 Santa Clara has offered its own summer associate program for minority candidates who wish to pursue careers as attorneys representing low-income clients
UC Davis, School of Law
- UC Davis, School of Law
- Best for: Students who want to be at the cutting edge and who want to help improve the lives of others. California’s best law school for family law is located in one of its most beautiful cities. The campus is home to over 30,000 students from across California and around the world. With such a large student body comes many opportunities for research and innovation; this combined with UC Davis’s reputation for excellence makes it one of the best schools in all of California.
UC Hastings College of the Law
Located in San Francisco, UC Hastings College of the Law is a public law school that provides students with an excellent legal education. The school’s mission statement emphasizes its commitment to diversity and inclusion, stating that the faculty will recruit and retain both women and minorities. UC Hastings College of the Law is also known for its expertise in law and technology, environmental law, international law and taxation. UC Hastings College of the Law offers joint degree programs with other schools at UC Berkeley such as Public Health or Business Administration.
The University of San Francisco, School of Law
The University of San Francisco School of Law is located in the heart of California’s Bay Area, with easy access to San Francisco and Oakland. The school’s emphasis on the importance of family law is reflected in its clinical programs, which include a Family Law Clinic and an Immigration Law Clinic. Faculty members with expertise in family law include Professors Risa Goluboff, Jody L. Herman, and Lara Bazelon (who also serves as director). The school also offers a variety of specializations for students interested in working with children or families.
The following courses are available at USF:
- Introduction to Family Law
- Principles of Child Welfare Adoption Planning
- Advanced Issues in Health Care Decision Making for Older Persons
- Domestic Violence: Statutory Development & Legislative History
All six schools offer high quality programs that teach family law.
All six schools offer high quality programs that teach family law. The following rankings are based on the number of students who graduate with a degree in family law from each school, starting with the highest:
- University of San Diego School of Law – 76%
- Loyola Law School – 58%
- University of California Hastings College of Law – 53%
- Golden Gate University School of Law (San Francisco) – 47%
- Southwestern Law School (Los Angeles) – 41%
- Thomas Jefferson School of Law (San Diego) – 33%.
We hope this article has given you insight into the best family law programs in California. If you want to learn more about our school, please contact us today!