Seaside, CA (PRWEB) January 26, 2009
Dean Mitchel Winick of Monterey College of Law has been elected Vice Chair of the California Law School Council. Members of the Council are elected by the California Law School Assembly and appointed by the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California for three-year terms. The Law School Assembly is comprised of the deans of all 57 California law schools. Winick is one of two deans appointed to the Council to represent the 16 California-accredited law schools.
Winick has served as dean of Monterey College of Law since 2005, having previously served as the Assistant Dean at Texas Tech University Law School. "Legal education in California is quite unique because of the wide range of choices provided," said Winick. "Most people would be surprised to learn that we have more than 50 law schools in California. New York state has the second-highest number of law schools and they only have 15," pointed out Winick.
"I think that it is fair to say that California provides greater access to legal education than any other state. We have public, private, accredited, unaccredited, fixed facility, correspondence, and distance learning law schools," explained Winick. California is the only jurisdiction that grants state accreditation of law schools in addition to recognizing national accreditation through the American Bar Association. Of the 57 law schools in California, 20 are accredited through the ABA and an additional 16 are accredited through the State Bar of California, including Monterey College of Law. The other 21 schools are unaccredited, but regulated through the State Bar of California. The entire list can be accessed on the State Bar website at http://www.calbar.ca.gov.
"Although there are many differences between law schools, there are also policies and issues that affect all of us. The Council provides a place to identify and discuss important issues such as admission standards, student and faculty diversity, law school curriculum, and our role in improving access to the justice system," said Winick. "This is a particularly important time to serve on the Council," said Winick. "The State Bar of California and the ABA have recently proposed changes in admission and retention regulations that some of us believe could have a negative impact on access to legal education in California. The Council provides a place for deans at the different types of law schools to discuss these policies and provide feedback to the regulatory agencies."
Dean Winick is joined on the 2009 Law School Council by Dean Steven Smith of California Western School of Law in San Diego who will serve as the 2009 Council Chair . Other members include: Dean Barry Currier, Concord Law School; Dean Rudolph Hasl, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Dean Joseph Moless, Lincoln Law School of San Jose; Dean Nell Jessup Newton, University of California Hastings College of Law; Dean Kevin O'Connell, Pacific West College of Law; Dean David Polden, Santa Clara University School of Law; Dean Michael Schill, University of California at Los Angeles School of Law; and Dean Kenneth Starr, Pepperdine University McConnell Law Center.