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    Jul 12, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Law

Founded in 1901, Golden Gate University School of Law was the first Northern California law school with an evening program and is one of the oldest law schools in the Western United States.

The School of Law provides exceptional, practical legal training combined with solid legal theory. Students are challenged to view law not merely as rules to be mastered, but also as social policies to be explored and questioned. Through our extensive clinical offerings, our highly respected litigation program and our comprehensive writing curriculum, our students acquire superb skills in analysis, document drafting, advocacy, trial technique, counseling, interviewing and negotiating.

Law courses are conveniently offered on a full-time and part-time basis. Law students earn a doctor of jurisprudence (JD) degree and may also receive a certificate of specialization in one or more specialty areas: business law, environmental law, family law, intellectual property law, public interest law, and tax law.

To further enhance students’ career options, the School of Law also offers a Business Administration, Law Concentration, Joint MBA/JD  program in conjunction with GGU’s Ageno School of Business. In addition, students may take advanced legal courses in preparation for a JD/LLM. The School of Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

Special Programs

Located in the heart of San Francisco’s legal and financial district, we offer students a variety of hands-on programs - clinics, externships, advocacy and litigation training, trial competitions, and our unique Honors Lawyering Program. In these programs, students earn academic credit while working closely under the supervision of full-time clinical faculty members and practicing attorneys. Our award-winning on-site clinics, The Women’s Employment Rights Clinic (WERC) and The Environmental Law & Justice Clinic (ELJC) provide students with opportunities to represent low-income clients under supervision of excellent lawyer/professors and receive academic credit. We also have a Pro Bono Tax Clinic, representing low-income clients with pending cases before the California State Board of Equalization, and The Veterans Legal Advocacy Center (VLAC) that focuses on ensuring that our students with military experience are supported. VLAC also provides pro bono assistance to veterans in the community who are seeking health care or compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Similarly, our extensive externship clinical program, also offered as an integral part of the curriculum, gives our law students field experience with local, state and federal legal agencies, courts, non-profits and private firms. Recently, the Law School has created a new on-campus externship to add to its experiential learning, which is the Cannabis Law Clinic.

The School of Law’s litigation and advocacy programs train students in every aspect of pretrial negotiation and planning, including trial techniques and appellate briefs and arguments. Our mock trial teams have won multiple regional and national championships in trial competition over the past two years.

The Honors Lawyering Program (HLP) offers a rigorous examination of legal theory and legal writing coupled with practical experience. In the intensive summer session after the first year, HLP students learn the law and also represent real clients on real problems in housing matters. They then spend two semesters doing supervised legal work in apprenticeships with lawyers or judges.

Summer Session

Each year, the School of Law sponsors a summer session offering both required and elective courses. The program is open to law students from Golden Gate University and other ABA-accredited law schools. Our Summer Trial and Evidence Program (1st STEP) allows students who have completed their first year of law school to spend eight weeks focusing intensively on litigation and advocacy skills in a program that integrates the rules of evidence with trial advocacy.

Graduate Law Programs

Law graduates may continue their legal studies by enrolling in one of our six LLM programs: environmental law, intellectual property law, international legal studies, taxation, estate planning and probate, and United States legal studies. Students with an LLM may also earn an SJD (doctorate) in international legal studies.

Our Faculty

Our School of Law faculty shares a strong commitment to both excellence in teaching and accessibility to students. The full-time and adjunct members of the faculty are dedicated to giving their students one of the best legal educations in the country. They are well respected within the legal community and have been trained at the nation’s finest law schools. Their education, real-world legal experience and expert teaching skills prepare students for an exciting, successful career in law.

Student Body

Our student body of approximately 470 students is a diverse mix of working professionals and recent college graduates drawn from more than 80 undergraduate and graduate institutions. Approximately 58 percent of our students are women, and approximately 53 percent of the students attend the School of Law full time. Over 42% of students identify as being of minority status.


  • Golden Gate University School of Law is fully accredited by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (ABA), 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654-7598, 312-988-6738 800-285-2221; and the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State of California; and is a member in good standing of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). Golden Gate University is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Graduates qualify to take the bar exam in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia.
  • Located in the heart of San Francisco’s financial and legal district.
  • Offers students extensive clinical programs and opportunities for practical legal experience and a comprehensive advocacy and litigation program.
  • Has created a unique Honors Lawyering Program including apprenticeships with lawyers and judges.
  • JD, JD/MBA; certificates of specialization in various concentrations; LLM degrees in environmental law, intellectual property law, taxation, estate planning and probate, and United States legal studies; and LLM and SJD in international legal studies.


For admissions and application information, please call or write to:

Admissions Office
Golden Gate University School of Law
536 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-2968
Phone: 415-442-6630