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 65%[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 admitted Chapman Law as one of its members in 2006,[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]

It 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 sixth in the nation by The 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 2017, the first time bar passage rate for Chapman School of Law was 65%. The overall first-time pass rate in California was 62%.[13]

Costs and average student indebtedness[edit]

The cost of tuition for full time JD students at Chapman 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 where 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]


Matthew J. Parlow [20] is the Dean and Donald P. Kennedy Chair in Law at the school. 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] He succeeded Tom Campbell, Dean from 2011-2016.

Notable faculty[edit]

Tom Campbell, Member of the United States Congress , 1989-1993 and 1995-2001, member of the California State Senate 1993-1995, and director of the California Department of Finance from 2004-2005.[22]

Ronald D. Rotunda. Constitutional law and legal ethics scholar [23]

Hugh Hewitt, radio host. co-panelist in several of the 2016 presidential debates.[24]

Vernon L. Smith, co-winner of the Nobel Prize in economics [25]

Law journals[edit]

Chapman's Fowler School of Law publishes the Chapman Law Review, a student-run scholarly journal.[26] In addition to publishing the scholarly journal, the Chapman Law Review hosts a major symposium at the start of the spring semester each year.[27]


  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. ^ "Faculty Profile". Retrieved 2017-03-20. 
  23. ^ Chapman Faculty -- Ronald Rotunda
  24. ^ "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. 
  25. ^ "Little Chapman University Lures Big Name in Economics". Wall Street Journal. July 26, 2007. Retrieved Dec 10, 2017. 
  26. ^ Chapman Law Review
  27. ^ "Annual Symposium". Retrieved 2017-03-20. 

External links[edit]