New College of California
School of Law
San Francisco, California 94102

Multicultural Students Profile

New College of California School of Law is the oldest public interest law school in the the United States. Since 1973, New College has offered an innovative program of legal education, combining practical skills training, rigorous classroom work, and supportive services, all in the pursuit of training talented, creative, and compassionate lawyers who will work in the public interest in new and dynamic ways. There are now hundreds of New College attorneys practicing law in neighborhood offices, government agencies, and community organizations, all sharing a special bond based on their experience at this unique school.

The curriculum centers around courses in fundamental doctrine, trial practice and skills courses, and clinical programs both on and off campus. The Apprenticeship Program places advanced students in law offices and agencies to earn academic credit while learning about the practice of law. The on-campus Criminal Defense Program gives third-year students the opportunity to provide direct legal representation for clients. The Housing Advocacy Clinic trains second- and third-year law students to provide legal assistance to low-income tenants facing wrongful evictions. The fundamental doctrine courses, covering those topics tested on the California bar exam, emphasize the intricacies of existing rules and doctrines while offering a critical perspective on the role of law in promoting or hindering social change.

Academic support services are available to all students, regardless of academic standing, in the form of counseling, tutorials, and workshops. The J.D. degree can be earned through either a full-time (three-year) or part-time (four-year) program of study.

New College is housed in a four-story landmark building in the heart of San Francisco's Civic Center, within walking distance of numerous government agencies, state and federal trial courts, appellate courts, and law offices where students apprentice as part of their legal education. The Civic Center is also the site of the San Francisco Opera, Symphony, Ballet, and Museum of Modern Art. All public transportation, including BART and MUNI, serves the area.

The law school is fully accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California and by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Graduates are qualified to sit for the bar examination in California. New College law graduates may sit for the bar exam in some other states after having practiced in California for a certain number of years. The School of Law is an integral part of New College of California, which was founded in 1971 and which offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs annually serving more than 850 students as an alternative to mainstream education.

The Law Library plays a central role in the legal education provided at New College. In addition to its collection of more than 20,000 volumes, the library provides students with unlimited access to computer-assisted legal research through WESTLAW, Dialog, MELVYL, and other databases. The Law Library also maintains interactive video equipment and program and word processing stations. The collection meets the requirements of the State Bar of California and includes an extensive collection of practice-oriented materials. In addition, New College participates in the interlibrary loan network, making more than 20 million titles available on request.

New College School of Law maintains a small, supportive environment with an overall enrollment of 140 students, with an entering first-year class of about 45 students. The student population is highly diverse, with 55 percent women and more than 40 percent of the students from minority groups. In addition, there is a significant presence of lesbian and gay students. Student groups include The Students of Color Law Alliance consisting of African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, Latinos and Native Americans. There are more than 600 alumni, the majority practicing law in California in public-sector jobs such as in public defender or legal aid offices or in private practice. Alumni obtained many of these positions through contacts made while they were law students participating in the clinical programs.

New College School of Law seeks to attract socially concerned students from diverse backgrounds who intend to pursue careers in public interest law. The Admissions Office considers factors such as motivation, work and community experience, maturity, and public interest awareness along with standard academic criteria such as LSAT scores and academic histories. First consideration is given to applicants who apply by March 1 of each year. Applicants are expected to take the LSAT no later than February of the year for which they are applying. Most applicants hold a bachelor's degree, but those with less than four years of college and significant life experience may be eligible for admission. Full details are available from the Admissions Office.

New College School of Law assists many of its students in obtaining the necessary funding to meet the costs of a legal education. The Financial Aid Office administers various state and federal financial aid programs, including grants, loans, and work-study awards. New College also administers several private financial aid programs, such as the Cesar Chavez Scholarship Fund, the Third World Scholarship Fund for students from minority groups with unmet financial need (made possible with funds from the Leon and Esther Blum Foundation) and the M. Jay Kramer Foundation Awards for students pursuing careers in public interest law.

Tuition is $14,550 per year for full-time students and $9,925 per year for part-time students. There is a $45 application fee and a student services fee of $25 per semester.

San Francisco provides several residential neighborhoods with affordable housing within short distances of the campus. The cost of living varies from student to student, depending on living arrangements and other factors.

Contact Information
Admissions Office
New College of California School of Law
50 Fell Street
San Francisco, California 94102
Telephone: 415-241-1314

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