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Loyola Law School is the law school of Loyola Marymount University, a private Catholic university in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions, in Los Angeles, California. Loyola was established in 1920. It is named in honor of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Spanish intellectual and founder of the Jesuits. The Frank Gehry-designed campus[3] is located near downtown Los Angeles.

Loyola Law School
The university seal
Motto Ad maiorem Dei gloriam – Tua Luce Dirige
(For the greater glory of God – direct us by thy light)
Parent school Loyola Marymount University
Established 1920[1] (1865)
School type Private, Roman Catholic
Parent endowment $432.6 million (as of 2015)
Dean Michael Waterstone
Location Los Angeles, CA, United States
Enrollment 940[2]
Faculty 135[2]
USNWR ranking 65[1]
Bar pass rate 83% (ABA profile)
ABA profile Loyola Marymount University



U.S. News & World Report ranked Loyola Law School 65th[1] in its "America's Best Graduate Schools 2018" feature, which ranked the school 6th for tax law, 6th for Trial Advocacy and 27th for legal writing – making it the top-ranked California school in all three specialty categories.[4]

Loyola ranks higher on alternative guides such as The Princeton Review in addition to the Cooley rankings (also known as the Brennan rankings).[5] The Cooley Rankings ranked Loyola Law School 26th in the nation in 2010.[5] The American Lawyer ranked Loyola #3 for its preparation of attorneys for big firm practice.[6] In 2017, the National Law Journal ranked Loyola #34 on its list of “The Go-To Law Schools’ Associates to Partner”.[7]

For specialty rankings:

  • Loyola's part-time evening program is ranked 9th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report[8]
  • Loyola is ranked 6th in the nation for Tax Law, and its fairly new[citation needed] Taxation LL.M. program ranks 8th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report[1]
  • Loyola's trial advocacy program is ranked 8th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report[9]
  • Lawdragon, which ranks and evaluates lawyers and judges, named Loyola #17 in its list of the 25 Leading Law Schools[10]
  • Listed as an "A" (#8) in the January 2011 "Best Public Interest Law Schools" ratings by The National Jurist: The Magazine for Law Students.[11]
  • Listed as an "A-" in the March 2011 "Diversity Honor Roll" by The National Jurist: The Magazine for Law Students[12]

Distinct from most law schools, which typically reside in one or two centralized buildings, Loyola has a separate law school campus. The campus, sitting on a full city block just west of downtown Los Angeles, is made up of an open central plaza surrounded by several contemporary buildings designed by Frank Gehry.[13] Its recently renovated library is one of the largest private law libraries in the western U.S., with a collection of nearly 560,000 volumes.[14]

Including its day and evening J.D. programs, Loyola has the largest and most diverse student enrollment of any California law school. It was the first California law school with a pro bono graduation requirement,[15] under which students perform 40 hours of pro bono work.[16] After Hurricane Katrina, Loyola was also one of a handful of schools to open its doors to students of law schools in New Orleans who were forced to relocate for a period of time after the hurricane.[17]

Degrees offered include the Juris Doctor (JD); Master of Science in Legal Studies (MLS); Master of Laws (LLM); Master of Laws in Taxation; Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration (JD/MBA); Doctor of Juridical Science (JSD)[18]

It has been an American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school since 1935.[19] It is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).[20]

Loyola is a member 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.[21]

2010 adoption of B curve grading systemEdit

Before 2004, Loyola used a unique "numeric grading system" where GPAs ranged from 70 to 100. In 2004, Loyola adopted the more familiar 4.0 "letter grading scale" used by other law schools, applying a low 2.667 forced median GPA. However, all other Los Angeles area law schools applied a median GPA between 3.0 and 3.3. In May 2010, Loyola corrected this imbalance by raising their median GPA one-third of a point to 3.0 – retroactive to all classes taken since 2004. Loyola claimed the move as necessary to enable its students to be competitive with those from UCLA, USC, and Pepperdine law schools. Deans of other Los Angeles law schools stated that the move was in line with their grading policies.[22]

The change in grading policy attracted national attention. In June 2010, Loyola's plan to retroactively change grades was the subject of a New York Times article.[23] Comedian Stephen Colbert also mocked Loyola's change in grading policy on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report."[24]

Treatment of students who apply to transferEdit

Nearly a decade ago now, in 2008, Loyola students revealed to the legal tabloid Above the Law that Loyola had recently adopted a policy of excluding any student from participating in the school's on-campus interviewing (OCI) program if he had applied to transfer to other law schools.[25] The exclusion applied even if a student's transfer application was still pending during OCI and even if the student had already paid tuition to Loyola for the next semester.[25] In response to the Above the Law article, Loyola Dean Victor Gold wrote in a campus-wide e-mail that Above the Law "misrepresents our policy, omits some key facts, and gets others wrong."[25] The purpose of the policy, Gold wrote, was to prevent transferring students from "double-dipping" by interviewing both at Loyola and at their new school.[25] Furthermore, any student whose transfer application was rejected could apply for reinstatement in the OCI program.[25] However, Above the Law noted that Gold did not dispute that Loyola banned tuition-paying students whose applications were still pending from participating in OCI.[25] This policy was repealed soon thereafter.[26]

Bar passage ratesEdit

Loyola’s first-time takers of the July 2015 California Bar Exam passed at a rate of 76.5%.[27] – above the 68.2% statewide average for ABA-accredited law schools. For July 2014, the law school achieved a 79.9% pass rate – above the 69.4% statewide average.[28] Loyola’s first-time takers of the July 2013 California Bar Exam passed at a rate of 87.7% -- giving it the third-highest pass rate in the state.[29] Based on a 2001–2007 6 year average, 72.4% of Loyola Law graduates passed the California State Bar. The first-time pass rate for Loyola Law School graduates on the July 2010 California Bar Examination was 84%, nine percentage points above the 75% pass rate for first-time takers from all ABA-accredited schools in California. And Loyola Law School graduates represented the largest group of successful first-time takers with 297 alumni passing.[30]

Post-graduation employmentEdit

Class of 2016Edit

Loyola Law School had the third-highest number of Class of 2016 graduates employed in full-time, long-term, bar-admission-required or JD-advantage jobs among ABA-approved California law schools as of March 15, 2017.[31] According to Loyola's official ABA-required disclosures for the Class of 2016, 83.15% of graduates were employed within 10 months of graduation. About 72.2% were employed in full-time, long-term, bar-admission-required or JD-advantage jobs.[32] The National Association for Law Placement created the term “JD Advantage” to “describe a category of jobs for which bar passage is not required but for which a JD degree provides a distinct advantage.”[33]

ABA Employment Summary for 2016 Graduates[34]
Employment Status Percentage
Employed - Bar Passage Required or JD Advantage)
Employed - Bar Passage Required
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 356 Graduates

Class of 2013Edit

According to Loyola's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 50.1% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation (excluding solo practitioners).[35] Loyola's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 36.8%, 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.[36] Loyola claims 13.37% of its graduates were employed in "JD Advantage" jobs, but the school does not define "JD Advantage."

ABA Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates[37]
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 389 Graduates

Class of 2012Edit

According to the law professor blog, The Faculty Lounge, only 41.4% of the Class of 2012 was employed in full-time, long-term positions requiring bar admission (i.e., jobs as lawyers), ranking 169th out of 197 law schools.[38]

Class of 2011Edit

As of February 15, 2012, 78% of the Class of 2011 (317 out of 403 graduates) was employed within nine months of graduation.[39] Of these, 36 jobs were Loyola funded positions in government (12), judicial clerkships (1), public interest (18), and academia (1).

Of those who were employed, 63% (255 out of 403) had jobs where bar passage was required and 6% (24) had jobs described as "JD Advantaged". Sixteen percent of the Class was listed as "unemployed and seeking work."

Media coverageEdit

In 2009, Loyola reported that 95.1% of its students were employed within 9 months after graduation.[40] However, Loyola does not disclose what percentage of its graduates work part-time or on a temporary basis. In 2009, Loyola reported to U.S. News & World Report that 66.6% of Loyola students were employed at graduation.


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Loyola Law School for the 2014-2015 academic year is $77,100.[41] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $282,792.[42]

Student DebtEdit

According to U.S. News & World Report, the average indebtedness of 2015 graduates who incurred law school debt was $148,035 (not including undergraduate debt), and 80% of 2015 graduates took on debt.[43] And only 60.6% of 2015 graduates obtained full-time, long term positions requiring bar admission (i.e., jobs as lawyers) within 9 months after graduation.[44]

Programs and clinicsEdit

Alarcón Advocacy CenterEdit

In 2011, Loyola opened the Alarcón Advocacy Center. One of its programs, the Project for the Innocent, made headlines in fall 2011 when it helped secure the release of Obie Anthony, who had spent 17 years in jail for a murder he did not commit.[45] Students in the project conducted witness interviews, drafted the petition for habeas corpus and appeared at evidentiary hearings to question witnesses. Through their work a Los Angeles Superior Court ordered Anthony's release on September 30, 2011, citing prosecutorial misconduct. As of May 2017, the project had secured the release of five clients who had served more than a collective 120 years in prison.[46] In 2013, the Project for the Innocent secured the release of Kash Register, who served 34 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.[47] In 2016, Register received a $16.1 million settlement in the case.[48]

Other programsEdit

  • Center for Conflict Resolution, which provides mediation, conciliation, and facilitation services, as well as conflict resolution training[49]
  • Center for Juvenile Law and Policy, serves as a holistic law firm representing youths in juvenile court. A small group of students each year are selected as participants in a year-long clinic run by the Center, receiving trial advocacy and procedure training from the Center's staff of attorneys and social workers[50]
  • Civil Justice Program, which convenes periodic conferences, seminars and presentations, promotes and publishes scholarly research, and initiates cross disciplinary projects[51]
  • Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Law program, an interdisciplinary program run in concert with LMU’s Seaver College of Science & Engineering, offers both lawyers and non-lawyers advanced skills training in compliance, incident response, risk assessment and more.[52] Media reports have noted that the program will draw on the school’s traditional strengths in intellectual property, digital privacy and cybercrime, as well as its connections to nearby Silicon Beach.[53] The program is the first of its kind on the west coast.[54]
  • Entertainment Law Practicum, which provides students with hands-on experience in the entertainment industry while earning units toward their degree[55]
  • Journalist Law School, providing fellowships to journalists for a legal study practicum [1] The program has been cited as an important way for journalists to grow vital skills.[56]
  • The Master of Science in Legal Studies is a program designed for working professionals to develop the critical thinking and essential legal skills. Students may customize their degrees or pursue one of six specializations: Corporate Law, Criminal Justice, Cybersecurity & Data Privacy, Entertainment Law, Intellectual Property and International Business Law.[57]
  • Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF), which is a student-run organization focused on getting students involved in public interest causes as well as raising money for public interest grants.[58]

Law reviewsEdit

Loyola currently has three student-run and edited law reviews:

  • Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review[59] is a publication devoted to the advancement of legal scholarship. Publishing articles on all legal topics, the Review seeks to identify and advance new legal research by scholars, practitioners, and students. Recent issues of the Law Review have included articles on parent-child privilege, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, Eighth Circuit reversal rates, and noneconomic damages. Authors have included former President Jimmy Carter and NPR Legal Affairs Nina Totenberg.[60][61]
  • Loyola of Los Angeles International & Comparative Law Review[62] is dedicated to the advancement of legal scholarship and seeks to publish scholarly, professional articles of high caliber, based on accurate and in-depth research, which advance legal scholarship in the field of international law, aid in the resolution of contemporary international legal problems, and contribute to the continuing education of the legal community. In April 2008, ILR held a symposium entitled Transformation in Iraq: From Ending a Modern War to Creating a Modern Peace.[2] Using Iraq as a test case, the symposium sought to assess the legitimacy and viability of modern occupation law against both changed contemporary realities and recent developments in moral and political thought. Speakers included Harvard Professor Noah Feldman, Yale Professor Jules Coleman, University College London Professor Ralph Wilde, and Ambassador Feisal Amin Rasoul al-Istrabadi.[63]
  • Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review[64] publishes scholarly articles which frequently cover topics in constitutional law, sports law, intellectual property rights, communications regulation, antitrust law, employment law, contract law, corporate law, as well as the emerging fields of computer and Internet law. ELR has also featured symposia on such topics as independent filmmaking, international rights of publicity and the use of law and identity to script cultural production.

Trial advocacy and moot courtEdit

Loyola's trial advocacy and moot court programs are ranking No. 6 nationally by U.S. News & World Report's "2018 Best Graduate Schools" rankings.[65] The teams' victories include:

  • Byrne Trial Advocacy Program,[66] won the title of Regional Champions in 22 of the last 28 Regional Competitions in the Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition, including back-to-back national championships in 2005-2006.[67] The team is a six-time Regional Champion of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Student Trial Competition.[68] It has won 10 national championships, including the 2015 National Board of Advocates Tournament of Champions[69] and the 2014 National Civil Trial Competition.[70]

Study-abroad programsEdit

Loyola offers study-abroad programs for J.D. students in Beijing, China and Bologna, Italy.

Notable Loyola Law peopleEdit


  • Allan Ides, Professor (Loyola Law alumnus who served as U.S. Supreme Court Clerk)
  • Justin Hughes, Professor, former senior advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce in the Obama Administration
  • Laurie L. Levenson, criminal law professor and media commentator
  • Jessica Levinson, Professor, President, LA Ethics Commission
  • Justin Levitt, Professor, former deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department, Civil Rights Division[76]
  • Yxta Maya Murray, legal scholar and novelist
  • Cesare P.R. Romano, international law expert and human rights litigator

Former FacultyEdit


Attorneys and activistsEdit


Political FiguresEdit

Other Distinguished AlumniEdit

See alsoEdit


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External linksEdit