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  1. King Hall FAQ
  2. US News Rankings
  3. Publications
  4. Centers
  5. Clinics
  6. Student Groups
  7. Students
  8. Annual Events
  9. Notable Alumni
  10. Notable Faculty
  11. Bar Exam Rate Discussion
  12. Directors of Clinics

Location
King Hall
400 Mrak Hall Drive
Phone
(530) 752-0243
Website
[WWW]law.ucdavis.edu

The UC Davis School of Law teaches law. From its founding class in 1966 whose students were actively involved in legal, political and social debates of the late sixties to its current student body, King Hall has been actively focused on public interest issues and is today recognized for that heritage. King Hall has moved to the forefront of legal education in the United States, establishing accreditation from the American Bar Association, membership in the Association of American Law Schools, and recognition from the Order of Coif, the national honor society for lawyers. It is one of the highest ranked small public law schools in the United States and is regarded as the best law school established in the last fifty years, consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the first-tier of law schools since the inception of the national rankings. The school's diverse student body sits among the top ten small public law schools in the US when it comes to diversity.

Generally, California law schools are amongst the finest in the nation and towards the top of this list are the four renowned University of California law schools: the School of Law at UC Davis (King Hall), Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley, UCLA School of Law, sfHastings College of Law, and UC Irvine School of Law, which opened in fall of 2009. Of the five UC law schools, UC Davis is generally regarded as the third most prestigious school, closely following Berkeley and UCLA.

Despite the notoriously difficult California State Bar Exam, King Hall boasts one of the nation's highest bar average passage rates over the last twenty years. In fact, it took Governor Jerry Brown (Yale) two attempts while former Governor Pete Wilson (Boalt) had to try four times! Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa (People's College of Law, unaccredited) of Los Angeles never managed to pass after failing four times. Areas in which King Hall excels include International Law, Environmental Law, Business Law, Intellectual Property Law, Human Rights & Social Justice Law, Public Interest Law and Immigration & Civil Rights Law.

King Hall FAQ

[WWW]The King Hall FAQ was last updated in 1996 and is an interesting time capsule of what life at King Hall was like during the mid 1990's. Its author also published the then-useful (but now-amusing) UCDavis Usenet FAQ at the same time.

US News Rankings

These rankings are extremely controversial. For one, their methodologies aren't very strict, subject to all sorts of variations, and essentially boil down to a non-statistically-valid measure of reputation rather than quality or rigor of education. However, for better or for worse, they influence perceptions of law schools among potential applicants and potential employers. Over the last 15 years, Davis has performed fairly comparably to Hastings.

2011LawRankings.jpg

[Legend: Black Diamond= UC Davis School of Law | Grey Square= UC Hastings College of Law]

Also note that the other "Top 100" (according to US News) California Law Schools are typically ranked as follows: Stanford ~2, Berkeley ~9, UCLA & USC ~16, Loyola ~60, U. San Diego ~65, Pepperdine ~77, Santa Clara ~77, McGeorge ~90. The chart above reflects the fact that the numerically ranked schools only included the top 25 until 1994, and the top 50 until 2003, and has since ranked 100 schools. UC Davis jumped to #35 (from #44 in 2008) in [WWW]the most recent rankings, published April 23, 2009. In 2010, it continued its dramatic upward trend, hitting number 28! It is the youngest law school to make the top 30. In a separate review performed by a University of Chicago law professor looking at law faculty scholarly influence, King Hall ranked in at 23rd in the nation. Continuing its upward surge, King Hall was [WWW]ranked 23 in the nation in 2011 by US News.

Publications

Listed by order of first publication:

Centers

Clinics

Students get a chance to have hands-on experience with the law by working with clinic staff on cases.

Student Groups

Students

See Law Students.

Annual Events

Notable Alumni

Notable Faculty

Bar Exam Rate Discussion

Despite King Hall's very high overall bar pass rate, there was a dip in passage rates at one point. In 2009 it was back to 90%. Still, it is usually among the top-performing schools in the country. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the bar pass rate was consistently above the 90% mark, earning UC Davis a commendation of the California State Senate (which is framed in one of the hallways at King Hall). However, for a while around 2005 the pass rate slipped to the [WWW]mid 70s, something that one alumnus believes is rooted in the lowering of academic standards which culminated in the altering of the "forced curve." The old curve is discussed in the antiquated "[WWW]King Hall FAQ," and because a passing examination answer was supposedly correlated closely to a passing bar examination answer, there could be some relationship. [The examination vs. bar examination difficulty correlation likely disappeared prior to the forced curved being altered, but this change, something perhaps emblematic of this shift in grade policy.] —JaimeRaba

Directors of Clinics

mm.jpgMillard A. Murphy, photo by Elise Kane

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