Matthew J. Parlow, JD, Dean
Marisa Cianciarulo, JD, M.A., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Amy Rogan-Mehta, JD, M.A., Associate Dean for Administration
Justin Cruz, JD, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Diversity Initiatives
Nidhi Vogt, JD, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Sherry Leysen, JD, MLIS, Darling Law Library Director
Maryam Isles, M.A., Registrar
Professors: Badrinarayana, Bazyler, Bell, Binder, Bogart, Campbell, Cao, Cianciarulo, Dexter, Doti, Eggert, Hall, Hernández, Hewitt, Howe, Kim, McConville, Noyes, Parlow, Redding, Ripken, Rosenthal, Rotunda, Schultz, Stahl;
Professor of Practice: Larmore;
Professors of Practice of Entertainment Law: Funk, Ryan;
Professors of Legal Research and Writing: Barnett-Rose, Carey, Patthoff;
Professor of Academic Achievement and Bar Services: Mainero;
Clinical Professors: Caso, Seiden, Skahen, Willis;
Associate Professor of Practice: Heller;
Associate Professor of Legal Research and Writing: Lascelles;
Assistant Professor: Leysen, Phillips.
The campus setting presents many opportunities to develop interdisciplinary courses and degree programs with other schools of the University. The site, located near the Orange Metrolink station, was once part of the fabled Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, a huge tract granted by the Spanish crown in 1810. A prominent Los Angeles lawyer, Alfred Beck Chapman, and his law partner, Andrew Glassell, acquired a large portion of the ranch in 1868 and laid out the town, which today is called Orange.
In 1872, Mr. Chapman donated to the town the land on which the law building is located. The law building is located just two blocks from the Plaza Park in the heart of Historic Old Towne Orange. The Plaza area has been featured in a number of movie productions because of its quaint array of restaurants and shops, many of which trade in antiques.
Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law has approximately fifty full-time faculty members, including many faculty with teaching experience from other leading law schools, faculty who have formerly clerked for four United States Supreme Court justices and Nobel Laureate Dr. Vernon Smith. The School of Law’s library has holdings in excess of 279,000 volumes and volume equivalents and the school’s broad ranging curriculum offers sound training in the core courses and a useful array of electives and clinical opportunities.
Law School Building
In 1999, the School of Law moved into Donald P. Kennedy Hall, a $30 million complex on the main campus of Chapman University. Highly praised for its stunning architecture, the new building provides optimal teaching and learning experiences in its classrooms and courtrooms. The principal building, rising four stories and providing 133,000 square feet of floor space, offers an efficient and pleasant learning environment for students. Classrooms and seminar rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art technology for enhanced teaching and learning and are capable of accommodating future changes in electronic, visual and on-site learning. Two courtrooms, one designed for trials and the other for appellate hearings, provide fully equipped facilities for trial advocacy exercises, mock trial and moot court competitions and formal hearings by visiting courts. The three-story law library occupies the entire east wing of the law school building.
Student lounges and facilities for student organizations ensure that the law school experience at Chapman is both productive and pleasant. In addition, a 720-car parking structure at the rear of the law building provides ample parking for students, faculty and visitors. The distinctive historical facade of an earlier building, modeled after the eleventh century Romanesque Basilica del Santi Vitale e Agricola in Bologna, Italy, is preserved within the walls of the new structure. Thus, the building links the important heritage of the past with the exciting educational environment of the future.
Naming of Law School
The name of the law school was changed in 2013 to the Dale E. Fowler School of Law in recognition of a generous and significant gift of $55 million by Dale and Sarah Ann Fowler.
Hugh and Hazel Darling Law Library
The Hugh and Hazel Darling Law Library is located in Kennedy Hall at the Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law. It is an integral part of the Fowler School of Law, supporting faculty research, scholarship, and teaching, and helping students to become proficient legal researchers.
Dedicated in honor of Hugh and Hazel Darling in 2016, the Darling Law Library occupies one full wing of Kennedy Hall. The facility features 11 group study rooms for use by Fowler School of Law students. A Current Awareness Room, located on the Law Library’s second floor, features popular legal and news periodicals, along with a DVD collection of films and documentaries about the law or featuring legal themes. Throughout the Darling Law Library is a mix of study tables and chairs, carrels, and soft seating areas conducive to quiet study and research.
The Darling Law Library’s collection contains thousands of volumes and volume equivalents, and numerous databases facilitating access to more than 2 million electronic resources. Among its materials are federal and state primary authority, legal treatises, practitioner guides, legal encyclopedias, periodicals, and more.
Chapman University faculty, staff, and students may check out circulating materials at the Darling Law Library’s Circulation Service desk, or confer with a Research/Instruction Librarian about legal research strategies and resources at its Research Desk.
Within the Darling Law Library are four computers for conducting legal research. A scanner, a microfiche/microfilm reader, two copy machines, and two printing stations also are available. Wireless Internet access is available throughout the building.
On display is the latest scholarship by Fowler School of Law faculty, along with a collection of framed Vanity Fair art prints gifted to the Fowler School of Law. A bronze relief of its namesakes, Hugh and Hazel Darling, appears on the Law Library’s first floor. Highlighting recent scholarship by Fowler School of faculty, the Darling Law Library also hosts Book Talks open to the Chapman University community.
The Darling Law Library is open to Chapman University faculty, staff, students, and alumni with Chapman University ID; law students, faculty, and staff from other law schools with both school and government issued IDs; and attorneys with a current bar card.
The law school is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).
Through its outstanding Career Services program, the School of Law assists students in networking and in obtaining summer law firm clerkships, part-time employment and employment after graduation. The Career Services Office is staffed with three full time lawyer counselors, one part time lawyer counselor for focusing on alumni needs and one full time lawyer recruitment manager.
Clinical and Skills Training
Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law is committed to training skillful, ethical lawyers. The School of Law has established innovative and exciting clinical offerings, giving students invaluable hands-on experience and providing real benefits to the surrounding community. These include the Alona Cortese Elder Law Clinic, the Bette and Wylie Aitken Family Protection Clinic, the Entertainment Contracts Law Clinic, the Tax Law Clinic, the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, the Mediation Clinic and the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.
The Alona Cortese Elder Law Center provides free legal services to local seniors. It has represented victims of elder abuse, both physical and financial, going to court to obtain permanent restraining orders against their abusers. Chapman students working in the Elder Law Center represent seniors in administrative hearings regarding government benefits, draft wills and health care directives and help seniors with a wide variety of legal issues. Students also visit local senior centers for client interviews.
The Betty and Wylie Aitken Family Protection Clinic provides a true hands-on experience for students who will counsel clients who have survived domestic violence and human trafficking. Students in the Written Advocacy track will engage in client counseling and interviews, fact investigation, legal research, preparation of affidavits, writing legal arguments and submitting applications for domestic violence-related immigration benefits. Students in the Oral Advocacy track will represent persons seeking domestic violence protection orders in family court.
The Entertainment Contracts Law Clinic provides students with a unique opportunity to work directly with low budget independent filmmakers and to serve as production legal counsel for a feature length motion picture. In conjunction with entertainment industry organizations such as the Directors Guild of America, the clinic’s director identifies eligible film(s) that are ready to begin production. The producer and/or director of the selected film then works directly with clinical students who will draft all production-related contracts and documents. Students typically assist in setting up the corporation or LLC, filing for copyright, drafting employment agreements for the producer, director, actors and crew, as well as executing releases and location agreements. Students will complete the production legal work for a minimum of two films per semester. The names of the participating students will also appear in the film credits.
The Tax Law Clinic teaches students valuable negotiation, interviewing, advocacy and trial skills. The clinic helps the IRS and the U.S. Tax Court in more efficient resolution of tax controversies. In the clinic, law students advocate on behalf of disadvantaged taxpayers who otherwise could not afford representation. Tax law students who have completed prerequisite tax law courses are eligible to represent taxpayers under the supervision of attorney-professors. If matters cannot be resolved, students represent the taxpayer at trial before the tax court or other administrative hearing. The clinic has saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars since its founding in 1997. Chapman is fortunate to be one of only two law schools in California-and a very small percentage of ABA approved law schools nationwide-to be awarded a federal grant to operate a low income taxpayer clinic (LITC). The program has been a grant recipient in each year of the low income taxpayer clinic grant program since inception.
The Mediation Clinic allows students to develop and use mediation skills through regular and frequent practice with actual parties under the supervision of experienced mediators in the Superior Court. The purpose of the clinic is to provide students with an opportunity to work with real litigants who have filed small claims, civil harassment and limited civil cases.
The Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence provides students with an opportunity to earn independent study credit assisting the Center’s faculty with ongoing trial and appellate litigation. Over the past years, numerous students have participated in the program, conducting research, drafting discovery requests, preparing draft summary judgment motions and appellate briefs, attending hearings and even preparing briefs for filing with the Supreme Court of the United States in such landmark cases as Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (the Ohio school vouchers case) and Grutter v. Bollinger (the Michigan affirmative action cases).
Chapman provides rich opportunities for law students to earn certificates in the following specialty areas: Advocacy and Dispute Resolution, Business Law, Criminal Law, Entertainment Law, Environmental/Land Use/Real Estate Law, International Law and Tax Law. Professors with extensive business law expertise in these practice categories deliver a high-caliber education that is interesting and enriching and will open up new career opportunities for participating students. For students who matriculated prior to fall 2010, successful completion of an emphasis program requires the law student to earn a minimum 2.500 overall cumulative GPA and a minimum 2.800 cumulative GPA in the emphasis program courses. For students who matriculated the fall 2010 and thereafter, successful completion of an emphases program requires the law student to earn a minimum 2.600 overall cumulative GPA and a minimum 3.000 cumulative GPA in the emphasis program courses. Chapman graduates who satisfy the emphasis requirements earn a notation on their transcript and receive a certificate upon graduating that certifies completion of the emphasis.
Lawyering skills competitions offer an opportunity to learn and internalize necessary skills and values in an intense, enjoyable way. They also offer an opportunity to meet and learn from members of the local bench and bar, who have graciously acted as judges and coaches for our teams. Interscholastic competitions offer an opportunity to meet and compete against students from law schools all over the country, sometimes all over the world and to meet judges and lawyers from outside of Orange County. Chapman students have excelled in competitions at regional and national levels. The School of Law has three student-run boards that are responsible for competitions: an appellate moot court board, a mock trial board and an ADR board that conducts negotiations, mediation and client counseling competitions. Chapman students recently succeeded in making it to the national finals of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, the Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition and the ABA Arbitration Competition. In addition, Chapman has won or secured impressive achievements in the California Bar Environmental Negotiation Competition, the International Law Student Mediation Tournament, the National Pretrial Competition and numerous other competitions. Chapman has hosted several prestigious competitions, including the regional and national ABA Client Counseling competition, the national ABA Arbitration Competition, a regional Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition, two regional rounds of the National Trial Competition and the International Negotiation Competition.
LL.M. Program in Taxation
The LL.M. in Taxation builds upon the school’s strength in the tax field, including our outstanding clinical program and the many specialized tax materials in the law library. The School of Law’s trial and appellate tax clinics are supplemented by an estate planning clinical opportunity and regular externship opportunities with the State Board of Equalization, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel and the Department of Justice Tax Division. In addition to the traditional Personal and Business related tax law courses, Chapman has made a particular effort to include an extensive array of Advanced Estate Planning and Advanced Business and Personal Tax Planning courses in the LL.M.
Courses in the LL.M. program are taught by a mixture of experienced full-time professors and leading practitioners who bring extensive real-world experience to this very specialized area of legal practice. Our curriculum is designed to provide each student with a background in the program, while allowing each student to choose specialized courses according to their interest.
Joint Degree Programs
Capitalizing on the strengths of other programs at the University, Chapman University Fowler School of Law offers joint degree programs with the Argyros School of Business and Economics and the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.
In cooperation with the Argyros School of Business and Economics, the Fowler School of Law offers a joint degree leading to the awarding of both the Chapman JD and MBA degrees . The Fowler School of Law also in partnership with the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts offers a joint degree combining the JD and an MFA in Film and Television Producing .
The programs, which are available at present only to full-time JD students, require four years of study. Although students in the programs will have an academic advisor in each of the programs, students will conduct registration activities at the Fowler School of Law. All financial aid issues will be handled by the graduate financial aid office.
Students interested in a joint degree must file separate applications to each school and meet all admission requirements for each school. The GMAT is required for admission to the MBA part of the joint program.
All students pursuing a JD degree from the School of Law must satisfy both scholarly and practice oriented writing requirements, a lawyering skills course and a professional development requirement. The set of courses required for a JD degree are subject to change, and notwithstanding the list shown below, students pursuing this degree must check the School of Law Student Handbook to ascertain currently applicable academic requirements www.chapman.edu/law/student-resources/registering-classes/student-handbook.aspx. All law students seeking a JD degree must meet graduation requirements set out in the School of Law Student Handbook. These requirements may be found at the following address www.chapman.edu/law/academic-programs/course-descriptions/required.aspx. In addition to these basic requirements, students taking a Joint JD/MBA or JD/MFA must take additional required courses following a set schedule, and these requirements can be found at www.chapman.edu/law/academic-programs/joint-degree-programs/.
Joint Degree Program
The list of LAW courses below consists of Juris Doctor required courses and a partial list of electives within the Fowler School of Law.