»The Juris Doctor at Chapman

Providing personalized education from some of the nation's top legal educators, the Chapman University Fowler School of Law offers a full-time program leading to the Juris Doctor degree. In addition, the School of Law offers a joint JD/MBA degree with Chapman's AACSB-accredited Argyros School of Business and Economics, and a joint JD/MFA degree with Chapman's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.

+-The Required Curriculum

These core classes provide the essentials for students in legal studies and cover foundational topics such as torts, contracts, criminal law, real property, civil procedure, legal research and writing. The required curriculum also grounds students in corporations and federal income taxation, constitutional law, evidence and professional responsibility.

+-The Lawyering Skills Curriculum

Skills training is the practical, experiential component of the student's education, where they begin to acquire the skills essential to the practice of law. In these courses, students gain competency in negotiation, client interviewing and counseling, mediation, advanced legal research, advocacy, appellate practices and procedures, legal drafting, and trial practice.

+-The Advanced Curriculum

These electives integrate the student's legal knowledge and lawyering skills with vital practical experience necessary for success in the field.  Explore the clinics, externships, and competitions that serve to enhance the student's law degree experience.

For more information, please feel free to contact us

+-The Honor Code

Ethics are as important to Chapman University School of Law as are academic performance and the mastery of practical legal skills. The faculty and the administration wish to prepare the law students for a career as an attorney through an education that embodies and promotes the highest ideals of the legal profession. Paramount among those ideals is the concept of honor, which fosters a community of trust that will be carried into the larger community long after students have graduated from The School of Law.

All students are governed by the Honor Code, the exclusive policy for dealing with ethical violations that include lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, harassment, criminal actions committed on campus, crimes committed after admission and while off campus, and obstruction.  The Honor Council serves as the ultimate adjudicatory body in all Honor Code proceedings.  Council members are drawn from the faculty and the student body. A copy of this Code is included in The Student Handbook and made available to new students upon matriculation through the office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  Updates to The Code or the Handbook are distributed to returning students at the beginning of the each fall semester.

Law students are cautioned that they are also responsible for scrupulous adherence to the wider Student Conduct Code of Chapman University.

+-Learning Outcomes: Client Representation, Legal Analysis and Legal Writing

The School of Law faculty have identified the following learning outcomes as critical to a law degree and to developing the skills needed to become a proficient attorney.

Learning Outcome #1--Client Representation

Effective client representation integrates doctrine, theory, skills, and legal ethics. Effective client representation involves several skill sets, including

  • Advocacy
  • Negotiation
  • Counseling
  • Interviewing

Effective client representation also involves the exercise of professional judgment consistent with the values of the legal profession and professional duties to society, including recognizing and resolving ethical and other professional dilemmas.

Through close faculty mentorship in coursework, clinics, competitions and externships, law students will be able to effectively represent clients in a variety of legal situations at a level of competency appropriate for an entry-level practitioner.  Assessing this outcome will require measuring the students' abilities to 1) appraise client situations and make appropriate legal recommendations, 2) negotiate productively, professionally, and ethically on behalf of clients, and 3) advocate effectively, professionally, and ethically on behalf of clients in a variety of settings.

Learning Outcome #2--Legal Analysis

Effective legal analysis begins with knowledge and understanding of substantive law, legal theory, and legal procedure.  Students must be able to apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to derive and apply legal rules in a variety of contexts. Students will be able to formulate clear and effective legal analyses based on knowledge acquired through research, case and statutory analysis, practical experience, and analysis of other legal materials.

Learning Outcome #3--Legal Writing

Effective legal writing differs depending on the document, such as an appellate brief, trial brief,transactional document, letter, or memo. However, all effective legal writing requires:

  • Understanding and appropriately and effectively using legal authority
  • Precise use of language
  • The communication of legal and factual analysis clearly to a designated audience

Students will be able to compose legal documents in a variety of settings appropriate to the legal profession.  Through multiple writing projects, and individualized assessment of their written work, students will learn to write precisely, clearly, professionally, ethically, and persuasively.

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Gain real world legal experience through one of our established externships, or create one of your own!
The School of Law's Publications showcase scholarly writing from students, faculty, and legal experts.

Our legal clinics provide pro bono services in a diverse range of subject areas.

Students participate in classroom training sessions as well as hands-on field work that may include client contact, research projects, document preparation, brief writing, and court appearances.