Chapman University School of Law

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Chapman University School of Law

Postby TLS_user » Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:09 pm

Law School Programs >> California Law Schools
Chapman University School of Law is located in Orange, CA.

Please "post a reply" and add any comments you have about Chapman Law. Many generations of prospective law students will benefit by the information you share.

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Postby Jane » Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:27 pm

My husband transferred OUT of Chapman - It was unusually, oddly homogeneous.... Lacking in diversity, plain, vanilla, yawn. I know they are trying to shed their christian fundamentalist roots but apparently (IHisHO) they still have a long way to go. I realize some people may feel it's important to attend a school with a decidedly fundamentalist tenor but I can also easily see how limiting and stifling that can be to one's educational process.

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Postby Morpheous » Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:12 pm

wow, I didn't know Chapman was like that.

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Postby Tin_Man » Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:18 pm

I got my BS from chapman some years back. I didnt really see much evidence of the fundamentalist culture of the school. It's located in a really nice area though and though small, the campus has a really nice atmosphere.

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Postby mmajd » Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:12 pm

im seriously considering chapman. I visited for there scholars weekend. With there generous scholarship, it is going to be hard for me to turn them down. The professors I met were excellent. They were very excited to teach and genuinely wanted to be there and invite us into the community

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Postby prophecybysnakes » Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:17 pm

Could someone who knows about Chapman address this whole "fundamentalist" charge? I have been considering Chapman (fall 2008) but I won't even bother applying if this is true.

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Postby JOE! » Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:35 pm

I know this is my first post, but I promise I'm not a troll -"lurker" is a better description :D .

Anyway, I got my B.A. from Chapman in May. I know a lot of the Chapman Law staff very well, and I created an account just to answer this thread.

Chapman is definitely NOT a fundamentalist environment. I don't know where Jane's husband got that impression, but I completely disagree.

It's a great school, with big name faculty and a lot of money to throw around. The facilities are ridiculously nice, as is the area. The only problem with it is that there's not a very big alumni network, but it is well respected in Orange County. I work at a pretty big name firm in the area, and one of the attorneys I work for is the hiring partner. He's interviewed people from Chapman alongside T14 grads (granted, they were top 10% from Chapman). It's a very friendly environment, and if you know you want to practice in OC, you should consider Chapman.

Feel free to ask any questions, I'll check back occasionally.

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Postby golakers1 » Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:07 am

I currently attend Chapman Law and it is really great other than the hard work and challenges of law school. The student body consists of many different ethnicities and backgrounds. I made a great decision to attend Chapman. I am not of white origin or vanilla as you referred above and there are plenty of colored people at our school including asian, african american, middle name it

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Postby bsteves » Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:57 am

Yah, I am a graduating senior at Chapman right now, and I have never felt that this school has a fundamentalist Christian bias. I am not applying to Chapman Law, mainly because I want to move out of Orange County. As Orange County and Southern California goes, Orange is a great town, but just not for me. If I did want to stay in Southern California, I would definitely have it as one of my safety schools.

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Re: Chapman University School of Law

Postby JOE! » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:38 pm

I posted this in a different forum, but I figured I should put it here too:

craigsol wrote:Anyone have any opinions on Chapman?

The general opinion on this board is that a T3/4 is a waste of time. I agree in that I would go into major debt for a T1 school even with a full scholarship from a T3/4. There are a couple of assumptions here though: 1) you want biglaw and 2) you can get into a T1.

I'll probably end up taking a full scholarship to Chapman, but I'm a little different than most posters here. I'm one of the few people who is going to law school because I want to go to law school. I also want to practice law, but that's not my primary motivation, and I definitely don't want to work in biglaw (if I can/do, it'll be for a few years to collect that big paycheck and build my resume on almost no debt).

Also, if I were to get into a T1, I would definitely not get any money (3.3 / 163). That would lock me into having a LOT of debt, and pretty much make it necessary for me to work in biglaw, as opposed to being able to take a low paying job if I want to.

On to Chapman itself... I'll get some actual numbers together to compare tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure that they are close to Southwestern in GPA / LSAT, much better on bar passage, and I have no clue about employment rates. They're obviously a regional school... if I wanted to practice outside of Southern California I wouldn't even consider them (although I've met a few Chapman 3L's who have jobs lined up out of state). It definitely has a good reputation in Orange County. What decided it for me, though, is that after looking into / visiting a few local schools, I decided that Chapman would be the best law school experience out of any of the schools I can get into.

Anyway, like I said, more detail to come tomorrow. And I'll probably move this post to the "Discuss your school" area.

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Re: Chapman University School of Law

Postby klgp » Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:04 pm

I agree with the above poster. Plus, although Chapman is a T4, it is expected to move up to T3 next month when rankings come out. Our new dean is highly motivated to be at T2 (where the numbers-for bar passage rates, incoming gpa and LSAT scores, faculty/student ratio, etc. currently fall, but lack of wide spread recognition prevent the school from currently ranking...we're still regional) in the next couple of years. Every resource is being used in this endeavor. In addition, the quality of life is amazing. Anyone going through the application process can expect the admissions staff to greet you by first name after one visit to campus...they make the experience very personalized. I actually ENJOYED the application process when it came to Chapman.

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Re: Chapman University School of Law

Postby Arctura » Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:48 am

I used to live in Orange County. I have some friends who go to Chapman Law and as far as I know they are all centrists. I have never heard of them complaining about the school being a fundamentalist institution.

So yea, I find the charge to be quite peculiar. Perhaps the earlier poster needs to substantiate her assertion a bit more for it to be believable.

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Re: Chapman University School of Law

Postby JOE! » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:16 pm

Copy / pasting from a different thread... this e-mail went out after the 2009 USNWR rankings were released:

lawislaw2000 wrote:From their administration:

The move up the US News ladder occurred in the first year of Dean Eastman's tenure as Dean of the law school, after serving for nearly a decade as one of the school's most respected professors and scholars. "My plan was to move into the Third Tier by 2009 and into the 2nd Tier within two to three years thereafter. Given our strong push into the Third Tier one year early, I continue to be extremely optimistic about our swift move up into the company of other top ABA law schools."

Here are some of the key reasons why Chapman has solidified its ranking position and will continue to rise in the ranks:

* 72% CA Bar pass rate in the most recent summer exam (July 2007) which puts Chapman in the company of a number of higher-tier schools in California. This result is 125% of the CA jurisdictions pass rate, a Tier 1 result.

* An enviable faculty that includes:
o Four former Supreme Court Clerks, with two more joining as visitors in January 2009
o One of two law schools in the country with a Nobel Laureate on its faculty
o A number of recent lateral hires from top-Tier schools

* Major funding committed to an Academic Achievement program and Early Bar Prep program to help Chapman students pass the bar on their first attempt.

* Three top ten national rankings in the 2008 Princeton Review survey:
o #1 Quality of Life
o #5 Professors Rock (legally speaking)
o #7 Classroom experience

* An ongoing lecture series that brings national scholars from noted law schools such as Harvard and Yale to debate and discuss cutting edge issues (from all ends of the philosophical spectrum) with Chapman professors.

* Strong results against the nation’s top law schools in our Moot Court and Trial Advocacy competition programs.

Dean Eastman added, “While we are happy that others are recognizing the hidden gem that is Chapman, we will not rest here. Our aspirations are, quite simply, to be recognized as one of the best opportunities in legal education.”

Other important factors that play a role in Chapman's rapid success:

* Student Faculty Ratio of 12.6 to 1=A Tier 1 number
* Median LSAT=Comparable to other Tier 2 schools
* Acceptance Rate=Tier 2
* Student employment at 9 months=Tier 2

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Re: Chapman University School of Law

Postby originalusername » Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:50 pm

Chapman University School of Law is predominantly Caucasian, but I wouldn't say it is run by a bunch of super right wing neo-cons. Diversity is somewhat lacking and there are some faculty members that are conservative, but it's definitely not Camp Pat Robertson. The school is coming up in the ranks, however I have a feeling its climb will be stifled by University of California - Irvine coming into the picture. Also, Chapman is recruiting and currently employs several acclaimed law professors. On the other hand, impressive publishing and legal reputations do not always equate with excellent teaching skills and in pursuit of expeditiously climbing up the ranks, Chapman has lost some of its more charismatic and effective professors.

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Re: Chapman University School of Law

Postby SoCal123 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:16 pm

Chapman Law Welcomes One of its Largest and Strongest New Classes

On August 13, the School of Law presented the annual orientation program for its incoming Class of 2011. With a median LSAT of 158 and 3.44 GPA, statistics for the new class mirror numbers from top 100 law schools.

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Re: Chapman University School of Law - the Most Important Chart

Postby SoCal123 » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:02 pm

"The Most Important Chart In the History of Legal Education?" ... -mone.html

« The En Banc Fourth Circuit Decides al-Marri, Sort Of... | Main | Do Women Blog? »
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Paul Caron, Moneyball, and the Most Important Chart In the History of Legal Education

I’ve been talking about how to compare "value added" across law schools for the annual U.S. News survey of law professors, lawyers and judges, which amounts to 40% of the overall rankings. Yesterday, I laid out the kind of data we’d want to see in a Voters’ Guide to U.S. News. One reaction has been: sure, that would be nice, but it seems like a lot of work. And in the absence of the ABA, AALS, Carnegie Foundation, U.S. News, Princeton Review, or Vault (market opportunity here) funding such an effort, it will never happen. Which may or may not be right.

But we can create the race to the top right now, without any additional work, thanks to Blog Emperor and Moneyball guru Paul Caron. A basic Moneyball principle is the use of data-driven analysis to identify things that are systematically overvalued or undervalued. The chart below, created by Caron and an assistant, does that.

This fall, if it’s the day the survey is due, and you have 10 minutes to fill it out, here’s what you ought to do:

(1) Look at the chart below (click to enlarge).
(2) Give everyone in the top half a 4 or a 5, and the bottom half a 1 or a 2.
(3) Put “don’t know” for the rest or leave blank.


Source: Paul Caron, TaxProf Blog, October 22, 2007

This would be infinitely better than what we do now, because when the rankings come out, the “value-added” schools would gain, and the “value-not-add-so-much” schools would lose. The race to the top would be on. Why?

Here’s how the chart works. To create the Princeton Review "rankings," (Princeton Review itself does not do rankings -- they do ratings), Caron added up the following ratings from The Princeton Review: Professors Accessible/Interesting, Admissions Selectivity, Academic Experience, and Career Preparation. So The Princeton Review data includes basically everything U.S. News does, absent a few low-weight items such as volumes in the library, and the high-weight items, which are the surveys of law professors (25%), and lawyers and judges (15%). But the surveys amount to noise -- all they have done over the last few years is replicate the rankings from the previous year! So they make no real difference.

So the difference between the Princeton Review ranking and the U.S. News ranking is attributable to what is in the Princeton Review -- and not U.S. News. And that is mostly the professors accessible/interesting ratings, and responses by students in questions having to do with the "academic experience" (range of available courses, school's research resources, good mix of theory and practice in the curriculum, open to diverse opinions, how intellectually challenging the coursework is), and "career preparation" (how much does the school encourage practical experience, opportunities for externships, internships and clerkships, how prepared do you feel to start practice). In addition, Princeton Review has average starting salaries of graduates, which U.S. News does not.

Basically, the schools at the top of the chart are ones where the teaching is rated very highly, and students feel very prepared for practice. The bottom half of the chart, the school does particularly poorly on both these metrics. This chart, then, tells you what schools are doing a particularly good and bad job of adding value for students, relative to their competitors.

The key lesson here? Assessing “value added” on a relative basis by school is not only knowable; we actually know it for many schools. So we just need to present the data in a convenient and user-friendly way for survey respondents, and then the rankings will move for at least a handful of schools, beginning next spring – and then we get our race to the top, beginning next summer. Caron's chart tells us: it can be done. Which is why, in my humble opinion, this chart might well be the most important in the history of legal education.

Posted by Jason Solomon on July 16, 2008 at 12:45 AM in Life of Law Schools

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Re: Chapman University School of Law

Postby SoCal123 » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:19 pm

This reply was posted to the "most important chart" link posted in my prior message. I thought it was well written and worth a read so I am pasting it here also:

"It is somewhat old news to see Chapman University topping the list of "the most important chart in the history of legal education." As a member of the Chapman faculty (and associate dean), I can report that since Paul Caron compiled this chart, Chapman has jumped from 4th to 3rd Tier in the latest US News & World Report survey, and in just about every US News category we are now reporting 1st and 2nd Tier numbers, including in LSATs, GPAs, selectivity, bar pass rate, student-faculty ratio, spending per student, etc.

Does this make Princeton Review a "leading indicator"? The circumstances at each law school are so different. At Chapman, we have responded to competitive pressures and the prospect of UC Irvine opening a law school by simply becoming a better law school. We have greatly expanded our faculty and the range of our programs. In just two years, the university has pumped an additional $3.5 million into the School of Law. The demographics of Orange County are also quite helpful to sustaining such an expansion.

As a result, in the past year we have hired eight new permanent faculty members and ten new visitors, including four top laterals (including Ron Rotunda from George Mason) and several distinguished visitors (including Richard Falk). This expansion will reduce our student-faculty ratio from an already low 12.6 to probably less than 10, one of the very lowest ratios of any law school.

Although in the past Chapman has had a reputation as a politically conservative law school, this is no longer accurate. Chapman is now one of the most ideologically diverse, with faculty members who have clerked for six U.S. Supreme Court Justices, as well as the only Nobel Laureate in Economics on any law faculty in the country. Meanwhile, we have continued to diversity our faculty in terms of racial, ethnic and gender diversity.

Did the Princeton Review see something that was missed by US News? Perhaps. The US News rankings are quite backward looking, impressed with yesterday's reputation while many of the students who responded favorably in the Princeton Review survey are naturally excited about the high quality of life (Southern California is hard to beat), the great legal education at Chapman, and our expanding programs. For instance, we're building one of the premier Entertainment Law programs in the country. Of course, it helps to have a state-of-the-art $40+ million film school just down the block from the Law School and so close to Hollywood.

Since Paul Caron's thesis is debatable, whether Princeton Review is a leading indicator or US News is a lagging indicator, perhaps we should see a newer chart that compares the gap between the two surveys over time and that shows how Chapman is moving up so quickly in the US News rankings."

Posted by: Tim Canova | Jul 17, 2008 10:48:56 PM :D

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Re: Chapman University School of Law

Postby izcanzbelawyrnow? » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:41 pm

Ahhh, this is refreshing :D

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Re: Chapman University School of Law

Postby jhett » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:39 pm

For people wanting biglaw, Chapman is one hell of a long shot. The problem is that they are relatively new and unknown by most firms. This past summer, the number of Chapman 2Ls that got biglaw jobs could be counted on one hand. And permanent offers were not assured.

I'm not trying to smear Chapman... just stating what I know. From what I understand, most Chapman students aren't expecting biglaw anyways.

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Re: Diversity at Chapman University School of Law

Postby SoCal123 » Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:49 pm

I noticed that an earlier post talked about diversity at Chapman. I am thinking that the earlier poster might have been confused and was speaking about the undergraduate campus. That is the only plausible explanation for their comment.

At the law school, nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to the student body. Chapman students are from VERY diverse backgrounds and anyone who had been there would know that. As far as the diversity of the faculty, Chapman was just ranked #9 for "most diverse faculty" by the Princeton Review. This is from their website:

Chapman Earns a 4th Top 10 Ranking in Princeton Review's 2009 Best Law Schools!

Chapman University School of Law continues to rank among the nation's best in Princeton Review's Best 174 Law Schools, 2009 Edition. Chapman retained its Top 10 status in the “Quality of Life (#3)” “Professors Rock (Legally Speaking) (#7),” and “Best Classroom Experience (#3)” categories. More importantly, Chapman added a fourth Top 10 category to its roster—“Most Diverse Faculty,” debuting at #9.

"Our newest Top 10 ranking is a testament to the significant effort Chapman has undertaken to have one of the most ideologically diverse law faculties in the country," said Dean John Eastman. With the latest figures, Chapman is in now in the Top 10 in four of Princeton Review’s 11 categories. Only Northwestern and Stanford have placed in more Top 10 categories, with six and five placements, respectively.

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Re: Chapman University School of Law

Postby neskerdoo » Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:05 pm

who is this character?

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Re: Chapman University School of Law

Postby pez0182 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:08 pm

Does Chapman have recognition in L.A.?

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