Hastings College of the Law

From Academic Kids

The University of California Hastings College of the Law is a law school located in downtown San Francisco, California. It was founded in 1878 by Serranus Clinton Hastings, the first Chief Justice of California, as the first law school of the University of California (UC), and it remains affiliated with UC today. Hastings is one of the few university-affiliated law schools in the United States which does not sit on a general university campus.



Throughout much of the 20th century, Hastings was considered one of the better law schools in the United States, due largely to its shrewd tactic of hiring faculty who had been forced into mandatory retirement (due to age) from other elite institutions. While these faculty would often only give a few years of service to the school, the culture and climate of San Francisco kept a steady stream of graying law professors coming through Hastings' doors. However, when laws against age discrimination came into existence in the 1970s, most universities abandoned their mandatory retirement policies, eliminating Hastings' major advantage. Today, while still a fine institution, it is no longer even considered to be the most prestigious law school in the UC system, as the Boalt Hall School of Law at Berkeley and the School of Law at UCLA are generally held in higher esteem. However, it is still a "First-Tier" law school that is consistently ranked in the top-50 of all law schools nationwide.

Hastings does have the distinction of having supplied the majority of California lawyers currently practicing today. According to the State Bar of California, Hastings alumni form the largest proportion of the Bar's members.


Hastings offers a three-year Juris Doctor program with concentrated studies available in five areas: civil litigation, international law, public interest law, taxation, and family law. The college also offers a one-year LL.M. degree in U.S. legal studies for students holding law degrees from foreign law programs.

Notable Alumni

External link


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