Innovative Approach

With a clean slate—and faculty and administrators who bring a broad range of experience from leading institutions as well as a commitment to advancing the profession—UC Irvine School of Law has an unparalleled opportunity to build a top-tier law school that is also truly innovative in the delivery of legal education.

“I welcomed the opportunity to work at a school where the dean believes so strongly that there must be an emphasis on experiential and interdisciplinary learning—approaches that definitely were under-emphasized when I was in law school. Although I don’t want to over-emphasize the importance of my own role, it strikes me that Erwin’s decision to hire a journalist as one of his founding faculty members graphically illustrates that he is working out of a new playbook.”

—Henry Weinstein (Above)
Founding Faculty, award-winning journalist and legal writer

Following are just a few of the characteristics that distinguish UC Irvine School of Law’s approach to legal education from that of most other leading law schools:

  • The founding faculty had a full academic year before the arrival of the inaugural class of students to develop and plan a cutting-edge curriculum that is preparing UCI Law graduates not only to think like a lawyer but also to actually practice law.
  • Emphasis is placed on experiential learning—ensuring significant opportunities for students to gain hands-on, real-world experience. Unlike most law schools, we infuse each of a law student’s three years with hands-on experiential learning. Our students are learning by doing, performing the tasks of lawyers under the close supervision of some of the best professors in the country.
  • Interdisciplinary strength is drawn from scholars in law-related fields across the UC Irvine campus who already are among the country’s leaders in such disciplines as law and humanities, law and society, criminology, law and psychology, law and business, law and real estate, and law and economics.
  • Numerous specializations and joint degrees are being created to reflect not only the invaluable resources of the UC Irvine community but, more importantly, the intrinsic interrelation between law and so many other disciplines.
  • While the student/faculty ratio in the early years of the school will be unprecedented, UC Irvine School of Law is committed to ensuring small class size even once the student body is at full strength.
  • Instilling public service values is at the core of our mission. All students are taught about and have direct exposure to the gaps in our justice system. We also have an extraordinarily generous loan-forgiveness program to support those who want to pursue a career of service in the public interest.
  • The location of the school in Southern California, one of the most populous and diverse regions in the country, provides unique opportunities for internships, public service and interaction with prospective employers and members of the bar, bench and business community.
  • The curriculum is guided in part through ongoing dialogue between practicing lawyers and the founding faculty to ensure students graduate with the skills they need to practice in today’s legal environment.