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Pathway to Law School

Pre-Law Introduction


The Pathway to Law School certificate program provides a broad background to help prepare students for success in law school. The courses in the program were identified by the California State Bar’s Council on Access and Fairness based on empirical studies of factors important to lawyer effectiveness. Students interested in a career in law should also complete their Associate’s Degree and an academic major leading to transfer to a four-year college or university.

Unlike medical schools or other graduate programs, law schools do not have any undergraduate course requirements. They seek to assemble a diverse group of students with different backgrounds and undergraduate majors. As a result, college graduates with any undergraduate major may achieve admission to law school. Although law schools do not have specific undergraduate course requirements, some legal specialties are limited to students possessing certain types of undergraduate degrees. For example, patent lawyers are typically required to have a degree in engineering or in the sciences. The Pathway to Law School certificate provides students with the opportunity to major in the subject of their choice while strengthening their abilities in areas that are associated with success in law school and the practice of law.

Chaffey College is one of a select group of California community colleges participating in an initiative sponsored by California LAW, Inc. that provides a unique pathway from community college to eight California law schools and their respective undergraduate schools. There are currently eight law schools (and associated undergraduate schools) in the program: Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (Loyola Marymount University); Santa Clara University; University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Davis; University of California, Irvine; UCLA, University of San Francisco, and University of Southern California. As part of this program, Chaffey College has a special relationship with the participating law schools and their universities.

Chaffey College offers a Pathway to Law School Certificate for students who complete the required seven courses. In addition, Chaffey Pathway to Law School students who (1) complete this certificate, (2) complete all major prerequisites for his/her major, and (3) transfer successfully are designated as Cal-LAW Scholars by California LAW, Inc. Cal-LAW Scholars are entitled to certain benefits from the participating law schools, universities, and colleges. It is important to highlight that Pathway to Law School students are not in any way limited in their choices of undergraduate or law school and that Participation in this program does not guarantee admission to any participating university or law school.

Students should contact the State Bar of California and/or the equivalent licensing organizations in the jurisdiction(s) where they intend to practice to determine the applicable character, fitness, and other qualifications necessary for licensure.

Interested students should contact their counselor, a member of the Chaffey College law faculty, or consult for more information on this certificate program.

Students who are interesting in becoming Cal-LAW Scholars should complete the registration form and return it to the Pathway to Law School office in room BE-107.

When you Dream...Community College – Pathway to Law School

Watch this video about community college students who became successful lawyers,
including the Chief Justice of California!

“When You Dream … Community College – Pathway to Law School is a video production of the California Bar Association.

For more information about Pre-Law Studies contact:
David Karp, Professor, Business and Business Law at 909/652-6846 or
Abel Chen, Professor Business, Business Law, Paralegal at 909/652-6847

Rev. 5/31/18

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