Set in the heart of Los Angeles, California, the Loyola Marymount University Law School (Loyola Law) is a small, Catholic law school with a deep commitment to social justice. As such, Loyola Law was the first law school in the state of California to require students to complete pro bono work prior to graduation. The school attracts a diverse student body and their graduates have become notable professionals in all types of careers from lawyers and to judges to entertainment moguls, Hollywood actors, and professional sports managers. As a Jesuit school, Loyola Law embraces the social justice mission of their Jesuit roots while welcoming all students who share their desire for applying the rigors of academics to improving the world around them.
Loyola Law offers two Juris Doctor programs–a traditional program or an evening program. The first-year curriculum is similar for both although the evening program takes additional time for completion. Both tracts require students to study five core courses: civil procedure, contract, criminal law, property, and torts. First-year students take a year-long course in legal research and writing. Students are allowed to take one elective in their first year. First-year students are divided into four groups of roughly 70 students and share the same first-year schedule (except for their elective course). Evening students complete the same required courses with the exception of criminal law which is studied in the second year along with constitutional law.
Upper-class students (day or evening students) are required to complete courses in constitutional law, professional responsibility, evidence as well as complete both a major writing assignment and the required pro bono hours. Otherwise, students pursue a concentration of classes that fits their career goals or can choose a less structured approach in “integrated” course schedules which provide a foundation in various practice areas. The Loyola Law upper-class course offerings contain over 350 courses in virtually every subject matter and practice area.
Loyola Law offers one of the most complete selections of additional and flexible degree programs in the country. As previously mentioned, their traditional Juris Doctor degree is also available through a part-time, evening curriculum that requires students to attend classes only three nights per week.
In addition to both Juris Doctor programs, Loyola Law has a number of Master of Law (LL.M) programs that can be completed both in-residence or online. For international students who received their legal education outside the United States, Loyola Law offers a general LL.M that provides a one-year grounding in the American legal system. LL.M students also have access to the school’s extensive alumni network and the career development office.
Loyola Law offers a variety of LL.M programs focused on tax law. Students with a Juris Doctor can achieve an LL.M in tax law either in-residence or online. Professionals from other disciplines can also earn a Master of Tax Law (M.T.) either online or in-residence. All Loyola Law’s tax programs provide students with access to leading experts in the field of tax law.
Loyola Law also offers non-lawyers a Master of Science in Legal Studies (M.L.S.) which provides an overview of the legal systems for professionals whose careers intersects with the law.
Finally, Loyola Law confers the Doctor of Juridical Science (J.S.D.) degree to students who complete a rigorous research and writing project to complete a publishable dissertation on a legal subject. The J.S.D. prepares graduates for a career in legal academia.
Career and Career Placement
For the most recent graduating classes, Loyola Law 84% of graduates find full-time careers either requiring a Juris Doctor degree or, additionally, a law license within 10 months of graduation. Graduates most often opted for work in small law firms (25.7%), government or public sector positions (15%), business sector careers (15%), and large law firms of over 500 attorneys (13%). Almost all graduates of Loyola Law remained in the state of California to begin their careers.
Loyola Law school’s Career Development Office offers students a range of services from counseling, job postings, opportunities for mentorship, and recruiting events throughout the year. Loyola Law also utilizes its vast alumni network of over 17,000 alumni to help provide students with connections in the legal community.
Experiential Learning/Distance Education
Students at Loyola Law gain practical legal skills in a variety of ways. Primarily, students participate in the law school’s renowned clinics which are housed as the Social Justice Law Clinic reflecting the school’s commitment to serving the legal needs of traditionally underrepresented groups. The five different practice areas in the clinical program allow students to apply their classroom lessons in real-world situations that address the legal problems of the Los Angeles community.
Students may also gain practical skills through field placement opportunities in either a public service office or a law firm in the local area. Students not only learn legal skills but also experience the day-to-day life of lawyers in a given practice area.
For students interested in transacational law, Loyola Law has created a unique institute designed to teach students the skills of negotiation and contract drafting through a mixture of classroom coursework and practicums.
Finally, all students at Loyola Law are required to complete pro bono–the first program of its kind in California. Students may also participate in the school’s robust moot court and mock trial programs which allow students to build appellate and trial advocacy skills through intra-school competition.
As Jesuit Catholic law school, Loyola Law campus is infused with spiritual life that celebrates the dignity of all persons in the hopes that student’s faith will help transform the world accordingly. The law school provides numerous opportunities for students to practice their many faiths and staffs a chaplain on campus. The school also takes its mission for social justice seriously with a broad selection of student organizations that work in the greater community to fulfill the school’s mission. Other student organizations build community among classmates and foster long-term relationships. The campus of Loyola Law is alive in many ways.
Set in the heart of one of the countries largest cities, Loyola Law offers students a unique experience in Los Angeles. Students have access to one of the most dynamic cities in the world which offers unlimited opportunities for recreation and entertainment. The greater Los Angeles area offers a wide range of housing and a public transportation system that makes commuting to campus simple through either commuter trains, subway, or carpool. Loyola Law even encourages students to utilize these methods through an incentive program.