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This is an archived copy of the 2015-16 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

McGeorge School of Law
Phone: (916) 739-7191

Francis J. Mootz III, Dean

A professional school offering a Juris Doctor degree in a full-time or part-time program, and Master of Laws (LL.M. and J.S.D.) degrees in U.S. Law & Policy, Transnational Business Practice, and Water Resources Law.

Founded in 1924, the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (Pacific McGeorge) has grown into one of the leading law schools in the country. Its 13-acre campus in Sacramento is a dynamic center for legal education, research and training in the skills of legal advocacy and practice.

Approximately 1,000 students are enrolled in the school’s full-time and part-time divisions as well as its graduate law program. More than 100 undergraduate institutions are represented in a typical entering class.

Pacific McGeorge is less than three miles from the State Capitol and surrounding federal, state, and local offices and courts. Students are able to observe law and decision-making processes at their sources and enjoy many opportunities to learn from supervised placements in state, federal, local and public interest agencies.


Pacific McGeorge is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the California State Bar, and is approved by the Veterans Administration for veterans’ educational benefit programs. The school of law has a chapter of The Order of the Coif, the national legal scholastic honor society.

Campus and Library Facilities

The Pacific McGeorge campus features some of the finest legal education facilities in the nation which include on-campus housing, dining facilities and a recreational center with swimming pool. In addition to modern classrooms, the campus houses one of the largest private law libraries in California and a courtroom. Facilities are accessible to the handicapped.

The Legal Studies Center houses the Gordon D. Schaber Law Library, a comprehensive legal research facility of more than 500,000 volumes, and extensive electronic legal databases. Law librarians, experts in legal research methodology, are available to assist patrons in using the library’s print and electronic resources. The library makes a variety of study accommodations available to students that include individual carrels, group study rooms, and video viewing rooms all equipped with wireless technology for laptop access. The Information Commons, a computer learning and research center, contains computers available for use by students for computerized legal research, Internet search, word processing and e-mail.

The law school’s Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution houses the nationally-recognized “Courtroom of the Future.’’ The courtroom contains design features and advanced electronic and visual display equipment to function as a model for developing new methods to facilitate the judicial process. The courtroom’s main purpose is to serve as a classroom for training in the skills of trial advocacy.

Admission Requirements

The school of law considers applications for admission from individuals who have completed, or will have completed by the time of enrollment, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The Pacific McGeorge 3+3 Program, described later, also allows gifted undergraduate students at the University of the Pacific to begin work on their law degree after their junior year on the Stockton campus.

Application materials include:

  1. Completed application form, available through your account at
  2. Law School Admission Test results
  3. JD Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report
  4. Personal Statement
  5. Nonrefundable application fee

Review of application files begins early in each calendar year for the entering fall semester class. The number of seats available for each entering class is limited, so early completion of application materials by March 15 is advised.

In reviewing applicants, preference is given to University of the Pacific graduates when compared to equally qualified graduates of other schools.

To receive the law school’s View book with application forms, write to:

Admissions Office
University of the Pacific
McGeorge School of Law
3200 Fifth Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95817

Basic Program of Study and Degree Requirements

The law school operates on the semester system with 88 units required for the J.D. degree. The full-time program requires three years of law study, while the part-time program requires four years. Part-time students may earn the J.D. degree in three and one-half years by satisfying graduation requirements through enrollment in an accelerated evening program. The required first-year curriculum for full-time students includes Criminal Law, Contracts, Torts, Property, Legal Process and Civil Procedure. In advanced years, students take a combination of required and elective courses.

The current program contains more than 100 electives in the areas of:

  • Business
  • Child and elder law
  • Clinical and practice-oriented electives
  • Commerce
  • Comparative and international law
  • Criminal justice
  • Environmental law
  • Labor law
  • Personal relationships
  • Property and land use planning
  • Public and administrative law
  • Special programs and activities
  • Taxation
  • Torts

Joint degree programs are available with limited cross-credit for acquisition of the J.D./MBA (Master of Business Administration) through the University’s Eberhardt School of Business or through CSU Sacramento’s School of Business. A J.D./PPA (Master of Public Policy and Administration) is also available in cooperation with CSU Sacramento. Students interested in a joint degree program not available, such as history, international relations or social work may consult with an academic dean to determine if any credit for law school coursework would be accepted by the Master’s program. Upon approval of a written proposal, up to 6 units of credit may be accepted toward the J.D. degree.

The law school has a tradition of close and personal relationships among the faculty, administrators and students, which helps create an environment where professional ideals are developed and maximum learning takes place.

University of the Pacific-McGeorge 3+3 Program

University of the Pacific undergraduates may plan a course of study that leads to enrollment at the University’s McGeorge School of Law during their fourth undergraduate year. Both a bachelor’s and a J.D. degree may be earned in a total of six years rather than the usual seven. To be eligible for admission to McGeorge under the 3+3 program, undergraduates must meet grade point average, course, and unit requirements prior to enrolling at the law school, as well as have a minimum LSAT score within the 50th percentile range. Further information is available from the Dean of Admissions or the Pre-Law Advisor on the Stockton campus and the Office of Admissions at Pacific McGeorge.


The McGeorge Law Review, published quarterly, is edited and managed by a board of student editors. The law school’s location in the state capital has led to a natural emphasis on California legislation, and a special supplement, “Review of Selected California Legislation,” also known as “Greensheets” is published annually. The Pacific McGeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal, another student-edited journal, focuses on matters of interest to the practitioner involved in international business transactions.

All students are members of the Student Bar Association which coordinates a number of activities through its elected Board of Governors. Organizations open to all law students include the Governmental Affairs Student Association, Women’s Caucus, minority law students’ organizations, legal fraternities, Nevada Law Students Association, religiously affiliated organizations, the Environmental Law Forum, the International Law Society, the Public Legal Services Society and other interest and social groups.

Pacific McGeorge mock trial and moot court teams compete with other law schools in regional, national and international competitions. In 2012, Pacific McGeorge held its 6th Annual National Ethics Mock Trial Competition, which featured some of the finest mock trial teams from across the country.

The Roger Traynor Honor Society, named for the distinguished former Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, honors scholastic excellence by selecting for membership students named to the Dean’s Honor List for each of two years. Students whose academic performances place them in the top ten percent of their graduating class are eligible for election to The Order of the Coif.

Special Curricular Programs

Advocacy Certificate

A specialized curriculum leads to a J.D. degree with a Certificate in Advocacy. Pacific McGeorge offers students exceptional faculty and facility resources in advocacy. Students receive specialized practical training to prepare for effective careers in litigation, civil, and/or criminal trial and appellate work, or dispute resolution.

Capital Certificate in Public Law & Policy

A unique curriculum leads to a Capital Certificate in Public Law & Policy awarded concurrently with the J.D. degree. Students who complete the program are specially qualified to begin careers in legislative advocacy, administrative adjudication, drafting of legislation, representation of government agencies and officials, representation of persons who regularly deal with government agencies, and related public policy-making positions.

International Legal Studies Certificate

A structured curriculum leads to a J.D. degree with a Certificate in International Legal Studies. Pacific McGeorge is an internationally recognized leader in this field of legal education and J.D. students have the opportunity to take many courses right alongside foreign attorneys in Pacific McGeorge’s acclaimed LL.M. Transnational Business Practice Program.

Business Law Concentration

The Business Law Concentration is for students who want to pursue a general business law practice, or for those who want to pursue a specialized law practice in entertainment law, employment law, banking law, real estate law, or myriad other kinds of business law.

Criminal Justice Concentration

A structured curriculum leads to a J.D. degree with a concentration in Criminal Justice – offering required and elective courses selected to provide students who seek a career in criminal law with a firm foundation.

Environmental Law Concentration

Environmental law lies at the intersection of environmental responsibility and society’s use of and impact on the natural world. Local, national and international laws govern myriad aspects of environmental law and vary from an extremely specific to a very broad focus. This new concentration prepares students to pursue a career working in environmental issues or in environmental law.

Intellectual Property Law Concentration

A specialized curriculum leads to a J.D. degree with a concentration in Intellectual Property Law. Core courses in this growing legal field include Patent Law, Intellectual Property, Copyright Law, and Trademark Law.

Tax Concentration

Pacific McGeorge has fashioned one of the strongest tax programs in the West and offers a tailored curriculum that leads to a J.D. degree with a Tax Concentration. Students benefit from an outstanding faculty, excellent library resources, and a curriculum that features a broad array of tax and business electives.

Graduate Programs

Pacific McGeorge offers a full-time graduate program that leads to the Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Transnational Business Practice that combines an on-campus study with an optional externship placement in a foreign law office. The law school also offers an LL.M. in Water Resources Law and an LL.M./J.S.D. program in International Water Resources. The LL.M. in U.S. Law & Policy program is designed to equip foreign-trained lawyers with the skills and knowledge to succeed as a global lawyer. The U.S. Law & Policy LL.M. has a Public Law & Policy track for attorneys who wish to pursue a career in the public sector.

Pacific McGeorge offers the Master of Science in Law (M.S.L.) to professional who seek the benefits of advanced training in legal reasoning and analysis but who do not require the J.D. degree for their career plans. Pacific McGeorge faculty will work with each student to develop a customized curriculum with a rigorous legal grounding infused with real-world examples, skills-based learning and experiential opportunities. Our accelerated M.S.L. program is designed to help professionals gain and apply the legal skills they needs. Finally, opportunities will be created for each student to put their new skills to work in California's capital city.

Clinical Programs

Pacific McGeorge has been a leader in clinical legal education for more than three decades. The law school now offers eight different Legal Clinics where students can enrich themselves both academically and personally by helping community clients with a variety of legal challenges. In a faculty-supervised law office setting, students strengthen the connection between theory and practice, learn practical lawyer skills, and begin to develop a professional identity as a future attorney. The current Legal Clinics are Administrative Adjudication, Bankruptcy, Criminal Appellate Advocacy, Elder and Health Law, Federal Defender, Housing Mediation, Immigration Law, and Prisoner Civil Rights Mediation.

Field Placement Program

The mission of the Pacific McGeorge Field Placement Program is to prepare future members of the legal profession for responsible service in the many roles that lawyers perform. Field Placements provide eligible students with academic credit for real-world experience performing supervised legal work at more than 100 approved government agencies, courts, or non-profit entities in practice areas including administrative law, business and tax law, criminal justice, environmental law, general civil law, government practice, health law, legislative process and public interest. Additionally, qualified students may gain practical experience through Field Placement Full-Time Semester opportunities such as Judicial Externships with Federal Judges, the California Supreme Court and Court of Appeal Justices, or at approved courts or government agencies in Washington D.C. or overseas.

Capital Center for Public Law & Policy

Founded in 1995, the Capital Center for Public Law & Policy promotes effective government by providing policy makers with nonpartisan legal analysis of public policy issues. Students have the opportunity to participate in all center activities which include analysis of legislation.

Global Center for Business & Development

The Global Center for Business and Development pursues educational, scholarly and practical initiatives that addresses the interface between the global economy and the legal profession. 

Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution

The Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution was founded in 1973 with the opening of the first experimental courtroom facility among American law schools. The “Courtroom of the Future” has served for more than three decades as a threshold in training future attorneys in the highest degree of effective trial skills.

Summer Programs Around the World

Since 1975, Salzburg, Austria has been the site of the Institute on International Legal Studies where Pacific McGeorge holds an annual three-week program that is open to American and international law students. In summer 2015, Supreme Court Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Elena Kagan will teach the Fundamental Rights in Europe and the United States course with Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Oxford University, in Salzburg. In addition, Pacific McGeorge offers summer programs in Guatemala and Russia to American and international law students.

Institute for Administrative Justice

The Institute for Administrative Justice (IAJ), established in 1972, has gained national recognition as a leading source of expertise on administrative hearing practices. Many public agencies contract with the IAJ to provide training and systems management. McGeorge students who work for the Institute gain direct experience in the practice of administrative law.

McGeorge School of Law Catalog

Complete information and a course listing is found in Pacific McGeorge’s Course Catalog online at .