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University of California, Hastings College of the Law

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University of California, Hastings College of the Law

University of California,
Hastings College of the Law
Established 1878[1]
School type Public
Dean Frank H. Wu
Location San Francisco, California, US
Enrollment 1,250 (approx.)[1]
Faculty 172 (full- and part-time)[1]
USNWR ranking 54 (2015)[1]
Bar pass rate 76% (ABA profile)
ABA profile UC Hastings College of Law

The University of California's Hastings College of the Law (UC Hastings or Hastings) is a public law school in San Francisco, California, located in the Civic Center neighborhood.

Founded in 1878[1] by Serranus Clinton Hastings, the first Chief Justice of California, it was the first law school of the University of California and was one of the first law schools established in the Western United States. It is the oldest law school on the West Coast. It is also one of the few university-affiliated law schools in the United States that does not share its campus with undergraduates or other graduate programs.


Serranus Clinton Hastings, founder of UC Hastings

Hastings has a unique relationship with the University of California. In 1878, when Justice Serranus Clinton Hastings gave $100,000 to the University of California to start the law school bearing his name, he imposed two conditions: the school must remain in San Francisco near the courts; and it could not be governed by the Regents of the University of California. Thus the school's leader (who holds the dual titles of chancellor and dean) must obtain funds directly from the California State Legislature, unlike other UC institutions, which receive money from the Regents.[2] In a commencement address, Hastings called his school "a temple of law and intellect, which shall never perish, until, in the lapse of time, civilization shall cease, and this fair portion of our country shall be destroyed or become a desert." Hastings College of the Law was for many years considered the primary law school of the University of California with the purpose of preparing lawyers for the practice of law in the state, whereas the Department of Legal Jurisprudence on the Berkeley campus, which later became Boalt Hall of Law (now styled Berkeley Law), was intended for the study of law as an academic discipline.

In the 1960s, Hastings began the "65 Club," the practice of hiring faculty who had been forced into mandatory retirement at age 65 from Ivy League and other élite institutions.[3] After the passage of age discrimination laws, however, the "65 Club" slowly phased out, and Hastings hired its last "65 Club" professor in 1998. In the mid-1950s, Newsweek published a story where then Harvard Law School dean and jurist Roscoe Pound declared, referring to UC Hastings: "Indeed, on the whole, I am inclined to think you have the strongest law faculty in the nation."[4]

In the March 14, 2013 issue of Forbes Magazine, Hastings was ranked number twenty on the list of "Law Schools Whose Grads Earn The Biggest Paychecks".[5]


100 McAllister Street, view from the west, off Golden Gate Avenue
View west from the 24th floor James Edgar Hervey Skyroom at 100 McAllister Street. Visible buildings include San Francisco City Hall with its prominent dome, the city's Asian Art Museum of San Francisco at the left foreground and the Supreme Court of California on the right

UC Hastings campus spreads among three main buildings located near San Francisco's Civic Center: 200 McAllister Street houses academic space and administrative offices,[6] 198 McAllister contains mainly classrooms and faculty offices, and 100 McAllister (known casually as "The Tower") is student housing[7]

The campus is within walking distance of the Muni Metro and Bay Area Rapid Transit Civic Center/UN Plaza Station. UC Hastings is commonly but affectionately derided by students and alums as being located in the ugliest corner of the most beautiful city in the world. Indeed, the school has been referred to in jest as "UC Tenderloin."

Located within a two-block radius of the campus is the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, the California Supreme Court, the California Court of Appeal for the First District, San Francisco Superior Court, San Francisco City Hall, United Nations Plaza (and Federal Building Annex), the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and the Main Library of the San Francisco Public Library system. The heavy concentration of public buildings within the Civic Center, as well as the high crime rate, result in heavy police presence, and high security, around UC Hastings.

Organization and structure

UC Hastings is controlled by a nine-member Board of Directors. The UC Hastings Board of Directors exists independently of, and is not controlled by, the Regents of the University of California. Pursuant to California law, eight of the directors are appointed by the Governor of California. Pursuant to the UC Hastings constitutive documents, the ninth director must be a direct lineal descendant of UC Hastings founder Clinton Serranus Hastings. The Hastings family member now serving on the board is Claes H. Lewenhaupt.

UC Hastings' detachment from the UC Regents gives it a broad degree of independence in shaping educational and fiscal policies; however, due to a shrinking California education budget, Hastings must also compete for limited educational funds against its fellow UC campuses. Despite the apparent competition among the UC law schools, Hastings was able to maintain its traditionally high standards without having to decrease class size or raise tuition prices to higher levels than fellow UC law schools, until the California budget crisis in June 2009, first raised the possibility of slashing $10 million in state funding.

A few days later, however, lawmakers rejected the harsh budget cut, agreeing to cut only $1 million and apparently preventing dramatic tuition hikes.[8]

Under California law, if the government ever cuts funding to Hastings to below the 19th century figure of $7,000 a year, the state must return the $100,000, plus interest, to the Hastings family.[9] State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) has argued that the rejected $10 million budget cut, in abandoning state financial support for the school, would have allowed the Hastings family to launch an expensive court fight to reclaim the $100,000 plus hefty interest.[10]


Hastings offers a three-year Juris Doctor program with concentrated studies available in seven areas: civil litigation, criminal law, international law, public interest law, taxation, family law, and recently, a new concentration in intellectual property law. Most J.D. students follow a traditional three-year plan. During the first year, students take required courses as well as one elective course. In the second and third years, students may take any course or substitute or supplement their courses with judicial externships or internships, judicial clinics, or study abroad. The college also offers a one-year LL.M. degree in U.S. legal studies for students holding law degrees from foreign law programs. It is an American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school since 1939.[11]

UC Hastings College of the Law and UCSF Medical School have commenced a joint degree program, and in 2011 will begin enrolling their first class of graduate students in the Master of Studies in Law (MSL) and LL.M. in Law, Science and Health Policy programs. Students will have coursework available at each institution for fulfillment of the degrees.[12] This program is a component of the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science and Health Policy.

A new joint program, the first of its kind in the University of California system, will enable UC Santa Cruz students to earn a bachelor's degree and law degree in six years instead of the usual seven. The “3+3 BA/JD” Program between UC Santa Cruz and UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco is set to accept its first applicants in Fall 2014.[13]

UCSC students who declare their intent in their freshman or early sophomore year will complete three years at UCSC and then move on to UC Hastings to begin the three-year law curriculum. Credits from the first year of law school will count toward a student's bachelor's degree. Students who successfully complete the first-year law course work will receive their bachelor's degree and be able to graduate with their UCSC class, then continue at UC Hastings for the final two years of law study.

Hastings has a chapter of the Order of the Coif, a national law school honorary society founded for the purposes of encouraging legal scholarship and advancing the ethical standards of the legal profession.[14] It joined the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) as a charter member in 1900; it renewed its membership in 1949.[15]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at UC Hastings for the 2014-2015 academic year is $71,247 for California residents and $77,247 for non-residents.[16] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $296,028.[17]

Employment Outcomes & Rankings

Post-graduation employment

According to UC Hasting's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 41.6% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo-practitioners.[18] UC Hasting's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 47.2%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[19]

ABA Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates[20]
Employment Status Percentage
Employed - Bar Passage Required (Full-Time, Long-Term)
Employed - Bar Passage Required (Part-Time and/or Short-Term)
Employed - J.D. Advantage
Employed - Professional Position
Employed - Non-Professional Position
Employed - Undeterminable
Pursuing Graduate Degree Full Time
Unemployed - Start Date Deferred
Unemployed - Not Seeking
Unemployed - Seeking
Employment Status Unknown
Total of 373 Graduates


U.S. News & World Report ranks Hastings 54th among top law schools in the US and as the most diverse of the four U.S. News & World Report ranked law schools in the UC system.[1][21] It was listed with a "B+" in the March 2011 "Diversity Honor Roll" by The National Jurist: The Magazine for Law Students.[22] UC Hastings also has the largest student body and student/faculty ratio of the UC schools.[23]

In January 2011, UC Hastings was given a "B" in the "Best Public Interest Law Schools" listing by The National Jurist: The Magazine for Law Students.[24]

In 2009, Super Lawyers magazine ranked UC Hastings 11th in terms of law schools that produced the most "Super Lawyers".[25]

According to Brian Leiter's law school rankings, Hastings ranks 27th in the nation in terms of scholarly impact as measured by academic citations of tenure-stream faculty, on par with USC.[26] In terms of student quality, Hastings ranks 33rd in the nation by average LSAT score.[27]

According to the Web site "Law School Advocacy," UC Hastings had the No. 1 Moot Court program in the country in 2011, with Top 5 rankings in each of the last five years.[28]

A 2013 article in Forbes Magazine ranks Hastings 20th among 'The 25 Law Schools Whose Grads Earn The Most'. [29]

Bar passage rates

In 2013, 76% of Hastings Law graduates taking the test for the first time passed the California State Bar.[30]



The oldest law journal at UC Hastings is the Hastings Law Journal, which was founded in 1949.[31] The second oldest journal is the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, which was founded in 1973. Inaugurated in 1997 to oversee the growing number of publications at UC Hastings, the O'Brien Center for Scholarly Publications now manages the publication of the nine UC Hastings journals.[32]

  • Hastings Law Journal
  • Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly
  • Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal
  • Hastings Women's Law Journal
  • Hastings International and Comparative Law Review
  • Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal
  • West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law and Policy
  • Hastings Science & Technology Law Journal
  • Hastings Business Law Journal


The O'Brien Center at UC Hastings has published several books:[33]

  • Forgive Us Our Press Passes, by Daniel Schorr
  • The Traynor Reader: Essays, by the Honorable Roger Traynor.
  • Hastings College of the Law - The First Century, a centennial history of the UC Hastings commissioned by the UC Hastings Board in 1973

Noted people



The Battle of Hastings (1066) as depicted on a stained glass window over the main entrance of 100 McAllister Street

Some of the current tenured Hastings faculty include:


Some of the notable former faculty include

Sixty-Five Club

Some of the members of the UC Hastings Sixty-Five Club include

Hastings in popular culture


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Best Law Schools: University of California (Hastings)". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  2. ^ Donna Domino, “Outgoing Dean Revitalized Troubled Hastings,” San Francisco Daily Journal, 6 April 2006, 1.
  3. ^ Charles Hillinger, "Hastings Faculty Is Anything But Retiring," Los Angeles Times, 14 December 1982, D12.
  4. ^ "The Era of The Sixty-Five Club."
  5. ^ [1].
  6. ^ Hastings College of the Law. Institutional Master Plan. EIP Associates, March 2004.
  7. ^ Student Guidebook, UC Hastings, Student Services.
  8. ^ "Hastings Beats Back Budget Axe," The Recorder, June 5, 2009
  9. ^ California Education Code, 92212,
  10. ^ "California legislators reject cuts to Cal Grants, Hastings law school". Sacramento Bee. June 6, 2009. 
  11. ^ "ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year". ABA website. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ UC Hastings-UCSC 3+3 B.A./J.D. Program
  14. ^ Order of the Coif member schools
  15. ^ AALS Member Schools
  16. ^ "Tuition and Expenses". 
  17. ^ "UC Hastings Profile". 
  18. ^ "ABA Disclosures". 
  19. ^ "UC Hastings Profile". 
  20. ^ "Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates". 
  21. ^ "America's Best Graduate Schools 2008, Law School Diversity Index". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2007-10-20. 
  22. ^ Larsen, Rebecca (March 2011), "Most Diverse Law Schools (Diversity Honor Roll)", The National Jurist (San Diego, California: Cypress Magazines) 20 (6): 30–37 
  23. ^ "America's Best Graduate Schools 2008, What are the largest and smallest law schools?". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2007-10-20. 
  24. ^ Weyenberg, Michelle (January 2011), "Best Law Schools for Public Interest", The National Jurist (San Diego, California: Cypress Magazines) 20 (4): 24–28 
  25. ^ 2009 Super Lawyers, U.S. Law School Rankings,
  26. ^ "Top 35 Law Faculties Based on Scholarly Impact, 2007". Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  27. ^ "Brian Leiter's Law Schools Ranked by Student (Numerical) Quality, 2008". Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  28. ^ "Law School Advocacy". Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  29. ^ The Law Schools Whose Grads Earn The Biggest Paychecks, http://www.forbes.coms/jacquelynsmith/2013/03/14/the-law-schools-whose-grads-earn-the-biggest-paychecks/
  30. ^ 2013 California Bar Pass Rates
  31. ^ Cite needed.
  32. ^ O'Brien Center for Scholarly Publications,
  33. ^
  34. ^ Edwards, Andrew (2010-12-09). "Former SB mayor W.R. "Bob" Holcomb laid to rest".  
  35. ^ State Bar of California Membership Records
  36. ^ , "The Voice of FilAmerica, Judge Bernie Clemente Laforteza"AsiaJournal Online March 26 – April 1, 2010
  37. ^ UC Hastings Alum Magazine Notes

External links

  • Official website
  • UC Hastings Moot Court
  • Hastings Law Journal

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