I am an alumnus of Chapman University where completed undergrad schooling. I personally know or have met many of the faculty and academic chair members of the law school, including former Dean Eastman. I am a life long resident of Orange County and am familiar with the legal market of OC. I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about the area and or the law school.
Before I share with you my opinion of the law school, I must state, if it is not already obvious to any aspiring lawyer on this site, how narrow minded and unintelligent JKS289’s statements are regarding Chapman Law School and to a further extent, her opinions on John Yoo, Kenneth Star and other conservative legal scholars. Let me start off by saying I consider myself an independent practical thinker and lean center to center right on the political spectrum; however, I have no disrespect for liberals and feel they have a lot to offer in the political debate. In fact, some of the closest people in my life (my girlfriend and her family) are all die hard liberals from San Francisco. So let it stand that I have no personal vendetta against liberals. On the other hand, I will not tolerate narrow minded dead headed numbskulls spreading vile and hate and misleading others on issues they clearly know nothing about, i.e. Chapman Law School and legal political thinking.
Because I am not a lawyer and certainly don’t pretend to be one, it would be foolish for me to give my opinion regarding whether the legal opinion of John Yoo was based on sound legal reasoning. Any opinion on legal reasoning from a non lawyer would be nothing more than regurgitated talking points. JKS289 has had no legal training and thus is incapable of providing any real legal opinion on the topic. She should demonstrate a little more maturity and much less hubris before she begins demonizing and condemning anyone.
The lawyers at the Department of Justices initiated an ethics probe into the John Yoo case and found no ethical misconduct; they only found that his legal reasoning was flawed. Legal analysis will certainly draw opinions from both sides, each side claiming the other misapplied the law. All one needs to do is read the minority and majority opinions of a Supreme Court case to know this. Whether or not Yoo’s legal reasoning was flawed is something that will forever be left to scholarly debate. Taking a position further than this by claiming that John Yoo is a war criminal is not only intellectual dishonest, but completely arrogant, narrow minded, and intolerant. JKS289, ironic how these very concepts you chastise and ascribe only to conservatives are the same principles that seem to guide and influence your political world view. JKS289, you are the vile one because of your bigotry and hate you have for others who hold a different perspective than you. I question whether I should even be giving this much recognition to someone who comes across as nothing more than a liberal drone and has probably never exercised an original thought of her own.
As for my opinion of Chapman Law School, I can say without a doubt the school is a rising star. An important reason why Chapman Law is on the rise is because the school rejects boneheaded students like JKS289. Chapman Law School actually looks to accept well rounded people who have demonstrated the capability to contribute intellectual acumen in the classroom.
It has been mentioned by a few posters that the school is overly conservative. Not once in my undergrad did I get the sense that the school was conservative or liberal. In fact, I would praise it for its political moderation and effort to encourage students to look at an issue critically rather than inculcating in them one ideology or another. Because most major legal academic institutions lean left, many in mainstream academia would consider a law school politically moderate, generally speaking, if it had a faculty ratio of 70% liberal to 30% conservative. I couldn’t disagree more with this conclusion. A politically moderate school should be represented by an equal number of contrasting political ideologies. Chapman Law may have a faculty ratio closer to 60% liberal to 40% conservative or 50% - 50%. Does this make the school conservative? Many on the left and in academia would characterize Chapman in this way. I would argue that, unlike most law school, these ratios make Chapman Law and its faculty politically diverse and overall moderate.
Another reason why Chapman Law is on the rise is because the school is determined to make its mark both in academia and in the legal marketing Orange County. Speaking with one individual who sits on the board of Chapman Law, the school is dead set on breaking into the 2nd tier. It really is a matter of when and not if. When John Eastman became the dean a few years ago, he made it one of his top priorities to dramatically move up in the rankings into the 2nd tier. The school has thus far taken all the right steps in attaining this goal.
As with all academic institutions, money matters most. Chapman Law is incredibly well funded, and because of this, it is able attract a very bright, well respected and diverse legal faculty (http://www.chapman.edu/law/administration/default.asp
). In addition, the school is able to attract students away from higher ranked schools by offering very generous scholarships. Thus, the school is able to have an increasing LSAT and GPA admission criteria which we know is a significant factor in the USNWR rankings.
Over the past few years, the school has really built up its reputation in the legal profession in and around Orange County. Chapman Law has done an excellent job reaching out to many top legal professionals and making them feel apart of the school’s rising success. As a result, many of these professionals who have graduated from law schools other than Chapman hold a lot of respect and esteem for Chapman Law.
The school is definitely becoming more competitive in placing a greater number of graduates in more prestigious employment positions than ever before. This is not to say Chapman Law grads are on the same playing field as USC or UCLA in obtaining big law jobs; however, the schools reputation and employment prospects by far supersede its rankings. It is not a stretch to say that Chapman Law has significantly narrowed the gap between the other 2nd tier schools in southern California such as USD, Loyola and Pepperdine. If one graduates in the top 25%, it is not unrealistic find a job in a mid size (25-150 lawyers) Orange County firm and have a starting salary near or above six figures.
I hope this information has cleared up any misconceptions about Chapman Law and is helpful and informative to any prospective student.