Chapman University School of Law

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Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law
Chapman University School of Law logo
Parent school Chapman University
Established 1995[1]
School type Private
Parent endowment $266 million
Dean Matthew J. Parlow
Location Orange, California, US
33°47′38″N 117°51′04″W / 33.79389°N 117.85111°W / 33.79389; -117.85111Coordinates: 33°47′38″N 117°51′04″W / 33.79389°N 117.85111°W / 33.79389; -117.85111
Enrollment 479 (full- and part-time)[2]
Faculty 74 full-and part-time members of the faculty and 7 professional librarians[1][3]
USNWR ranking 134[1]
Bar pass rate 57%[4]
ABA profile Official ABA profile

Chapman University's Dale E. Fowler School of Law, commonly referred to as Chapman University School of Law or Chapman Law School, is a private, non-profit law school located in Orange, California. The school offers the Juris Doctor degree (JD), combined programs offering a JD/MBA and JD/MFA in Film & Television Producing, and multiple LL.M. degree options. The school also offers emphasis options in Business Law, Criminal Law, Entertainment Law, Environmental Law, International Law, Trial Advocacy, and Taxation. Currently, the school has 74 full- and part-time faculty members [3] and a law library with holdings in excess of 290,000 volumes and volume equivalents.[5]

Accreditation History[edit]

Established in 1995 as part of Chapman University, Chapman Law gained provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association (ABA) in 1998 [6] and received full ABA accreditation in 2002.[7][8] In addition to its ABA membership, the Association of American Law Schools has admitted Chapman Law as one of its members in 2006, noting that "the school has an outstanding physical facility and has developed a faculty with a strong commitment to teaching and scholarship." [8] In 2013, the ABA again fully accredited the school until 2020, the standard seven-year accreditation term.[9]


Chapman University School of Law is currently ranked 134th by the US News and World Report's annual law school rankings.[10]

Chapman University School of Law is currently ranked 38th for Best Part-Time Law Programs by the US News and World Report's annual law school rankings. [11]

Chapman University's Film School is ranked 6th in the nation by Hollywood Reporter's annual rankings, making the school's signature joint J.D. and MFA in Film Production program a popular option to students wishing to specialize in Entertainment Law.[12]

Entrance to School of Law
Donald P. Kennedy Hall, home of the School of Law

Bar passage rate[edit]

In July 2016, the first time bar passage rate for Chapman School of Law was 57%, slightly below the California ABA accredited law school pass rate of 60%, marking a steep decline from the peak bar pass rate of 82% in 2012,[13] the July 2016 bar exam was the first bar exam in over a decade where Chapman graduates scored lower than the California statewide average. The school had previously touted its high bar passage rate as a major selling point.

Costs and average student indebtedness[edit]

The cost of tuition for full time JD students at the Chapman University Fowler School of Law for the 2016-2017 academic year is $50,076, which does not include living expenses and fees.[14] According to US News, the cost of such living expenses is approximately $16,848 per year.[15]

In order to cover these expenses, 75% of all 2016 graduates incurred student loan debt with an average indebtedness of $144,409.[16]

Post-graduation employment[edit]

According to Chapman's official 2016 ABA-required disclosures, 53% of the Class of 2016 obtained bar passage required employment 10 months or less after graduation, 16% were employed in JD advantage jobs were bar passage was a desired qualification, but not required, and 23% reported they were unemployed and searching for legal work. [17]


Chapman, like some other law schools, uses merit based scholarships in order to entice competitive students who might otherwise pass over the school for higher ranked competitors and to enhance its own ranking.[18][19]

Dean & Faculty[edit]

Matthew J. Parlow [20] is the Dean and Donald P. Kennedy Chair in Law at Chapman University Fowler School of Law, he joined Chapman as dean in July 2016 after serving as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School. He previously taught at Chapman from 2005-2008.[21] Chapman professors include former U.S. Supreme Court clerks, a Nobel laureate,[22][23] legal scholars, a former member of the U.S. Congress,[24] elected members of the American Law Institute, former law partners, and practitioner adjunct professors from a range of specialty areas.[25] Faculty members have published books [26] and scholarly articles [27] and are frequently called upon to share their expertise in the mainstream press and legal media.[28]

Other faculty[edit]

Professor Tom Campbell served as Dean of the Fowler School of Law from 2011 to 2016. Prior to joining Chapman, he was the Bank of America Dean and Professor of Business from 2002 to 2008 at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and taught law at Stanford University from 1983-2002, he also served as a member of the United States Congress from 1989-1993 and 1995-2001, as a member of the California State Senate from 1993-1995, and as the director of the California Department of Finance from 2004-2005.[24]

Other members of the Chapman Law faculty include Constitutional law and legal ethics scholar Ronald D. Rotunda[29] and radio host Hugh Hewitt, who was a co-panelist in several of the 2016 presidential debates.[30] Also notable is Professor Larry Rosenthal, a former Supreme Court clerk for Justice John Paul Stevens, who as Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago argued the case of Chicago v. Morales, 527 U.S. 41 (1999), among other cases, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Donley and Marjorie Bollinger Chair in Real Estate Law Daniel Bogart, a property law expert and member of the American Law Institute. Visiting Professors have included international law scholar Richard A. Falk[31] and W. H. (Joe) Knight, Jr., a noted scholar and member of the American Law Institute.

Four Chapman faculty members have been elected to the American Law Institute: Professors Campbell and Rotunda (above), Associate Dean Bogart (above), and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development Donald Kochan.[32]

Chapman faculty members who have clerked for the Supreme Court of the United States [33] include Professors Rosenthal and Campbell (above), as well as former Dean John Eastman, and former Associate Dean Celestine McConville.[34]

Law journals[edit]

Chapman's Fowler School of Law publishes the Chapman Law Review, a student-run scholarly journal;[35] in addition to publishing the scholarly journal, the Chapman Law Review hosts a major symposium at the start of the spring semester each year. [36]

Chapman Law Review's 2017 keynote speaker was United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. [37]

Keynote speakers from past symposia have included Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Samuel A. Alito, Jr., former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean, former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III, former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and Michael Flaherty, President of Walden Media.


  1. ^ a b c "Best Law Schools: Chapman University". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ (PDF)  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Chapman University - Law - Rinker Law Library
  6. ^ "ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year". ABA website. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  7. ^ ContractsProf Blog: March 19, 2006 - March 25, 2006
  8. ^ a b AALS aalsnews, February 2006 (page 6)
  9. ^ (PDF)  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Tuition and Fees". 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Faculty Profile". Retrieved 2017-03-20. 
  21. ^ "Chapman University Community Gathers to Welcome Dean Matt Parlow". Fowler School of Law. Retrieved 2017-03-20. 
  22. ^ "Little Chapman University Lures Big Name in Economics". The Wall Street Journal. July 26, 2007. 
  23. ^ DeBenedictis, Don J. "Nobel-winning economist to joint Chapman School of Law," Los Angeles Daily Journal, 27 July 2007.
  24. ^ a b "Faculty Profile". Retrieved 2017-03-20. 
  25. ^ "Faculty & Administration". Retrieved 2017-03-20. 
  26. ^ "Books". Retrieved 2017-03-20. 
  27. ^ "Scholarly Articles". Retrieved 2017-03-20. 
  28. ^ "Faculty in the News". Retrieved 2017-03-20. 
  29. ^ Chapman Faculty -- Ronald Rotunda
  30. ^ "Fowler School of Law Professor Hugh Hewitt to Join Final 2015 Republican Presidential Debate as Co-Panelist on CNN". Fowler School of Law. Retrieved 2017-03-20. 
  31. ^ Chapman Visiting Faculty -- Richard Falk
  32. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ LLM GUIDE - Chapman University School of Law
  34. ^ Wikipedia List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  35. ^ Chapman Law Review
  36. ^ "Annual Symposium". Retrieved 2017-03-20. 
  37. ^

External links[edit]