Seaside, CA (PRWEB) February 27, 2015
Monterey College of Law is expanding to include a new branch campus in San Luis Obispo. The new campus, which will operate under the name San Luis Obispo College of Law, will open in August 2015. The law school will begin accepting applications for the Fall 2015 Semester on March 2, 2015. As a branch of Monterey College of Law, the San Luis Obispo College of Law will be accredited through the State Bar of California.
As part of the new program, the law school has entered into an agreement with the University of San Luis Obispo, a registered unaccredited law school located in Morro Bay, to allow their current students to transfer to the accredited program at the new San Luis Obispo College of Law. As part of the agreement between the two schools, after the current spring semester is completed, the University of San Luis Obispo will discontinue operations.
Although the local school will cease operations in July, it will not soon be forgotten.
In announcing the new campus, Mitchel L. Winick, President and Dean of Monterey College of Law, reported,” I am extremely pleased to announce that Judge Charles Porter (Ret.), who served as the founder and Dean of the University of San Luis Obispo and its predecessor school for more than 20 years, has agreed to serve as the initial dean for our new San Luis Obispo branch campus.” “This arrangement is a win-win situation for San Luis Obispo,” said Winick. Porter concurred, “The agreement between our two law schools provides an opportunity for my students to transfer to a respected accredited law school program and for me to play a role in establishing the first accredited law school in San Luis Obispo . . . a long-term dream for this community.”
Over the past several months, Winick met with many local lawyers, judges, and bar association leaders to solicit opinions and ideas for the new law school. “I have great respect for the way that Monterey College of Law focused on joining the local legal community as a partner, rather than coming in as an outsider,” said Porter. This approach is particularly important because San Luis Obispo College of Law will rely on local lawyers and judges to serve as its adjunct law faculty. “One of the greatest strengths of our program is that we have experienced, practicing attorneys and judges teaching our students,” said Winick. “This model has worked for more than 40 years at our main campus and we expect it to be equally successful in San Luis Obispo.” The law school has already begun talking with potential faculty members and reports that the response has been extremely positive. “I am very impressed with the enthusiasm and expertise of the local bench and bar,” said Winick. “There is no doubt that the law students at our new campus are going to have a first-class faculty, who not only are legal experts, but who will serve as mentors and referral sources for future jobs.”
“One of the frequent question that I get,” reflected Winick, is “how can Monterey College of Law be growing at a time when law schools across the country are reporting the lowest enrollment in more than 40 years?” “The answer is that small communities throughout California still need good new lawyers. There are a surprising number of communities across Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Luis Obispo Counties that do not have a single lawyer practicing in their area. And yet, the people who live in these towns are entitled to, and need qualified legal representation. That is why community-based law schools such as Monterey College of Law and San Luis Obispo College of Law will continue to prosper while many large urban law schools are in serious trouble. We believe that for prospective law students who want to practice law in their local communities, it is still a great time to go to law school and enter the legal profession.”
Although the law school will begin accepting applications on March 2, 2015, commencement of classes and formal enrollment of students at this provisionally approved branch campus of Monterey College of Law is subject to final approval by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California, which is currently scheduled for consideration by the Committee at its April 24-25th meeting.
Monterey College of Law is a California-accredited law school founded in 1972. The main campus is adjacent to CSUMB on the former Fort Ord in Seaside, CA. In addition to the new program in San Luis Obispo, it also has a first-year program in Santa Cruz that feeds into the main campus in Seaside. The law school offers four law degree programs: a traditional 90-unit J.D. degree; a 36-unit Master of Legal Studies degree; a concurrent J.D./M.L.S. degree; and a 24-unit graduate LL.M. degree. For more information about Monterey College of Law and San Luis Obispo College of Law, contact Dean of Admissions Wendy LaRiviere at wlariviere(AT)montereylaw.edu or 831-582-4000 ext. 1012.