Whittier Law School

Whittier Law School

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Basic Information

Whittier Law School announced in April 2017 that it will close in 2019 and is no longer accepting applicants. 

“For more than 50 years, we have provided a high quality education to students of diverse backgrounds and abilities — students who might not otherwise have been able to receive a legal education and who are now serving justice and enterprise around the world,” the law school said. “Sadly, our sponsoring institution opted to abandon the Law School rather than provide the time and resources needed to finish paving the path to ongoing viability and success. We believe this action was unwise, unwarranted, and unfounded.”

Whittier College completed a sale-leaseback of the law school’s Costa Mesa campus for $35 million in February 2017, the Orange County Business Journal reported. 

The board of trustees said it had researched ways to keep the law school open, including redirecting resources, improving student outcomes, and selling the school, but found no solution. The board began investigating alternatives in 2015, after the school reported dismal bar pass rates and employment outcomes, despite lower enrollment.

Whittier's enrollment dropped from 700 in 2010 to less than 450. During the same time period, its median LSAT dropped from 152 to 146. Its bar passage rate dropped to 38.1 percent for the class of 2015, the most recent data available. It was as high as 69 percent in 2012.

Whittier Law School was founded in 1966 and received ABA approval in 1978. The law school moved from Los Angeles to Costa Mesa in 1997.  

Admission Profile
Financial Aid Deadline: 


75th Percentile1493.09
25th Percentile1442.62
Financial Profile
Tuition Part-time$30,400$30,400
Living Expenses
Median grant$22426
Percent receiving grants38.00%
Estimated net tuition
Employment & Bar Exam Profile
Post-grad employment 59.20%
NJ Employment46.81
Bar Passage35.26%
Academic Profile
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