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Pacific Coast University (School of Law)

Pacific Coast University was founded in 1927, before the California State Bar itself was formed. The University originally offered graduate programs in Business and Divinity as well as Law, but the former Schools, as well as an undergraduate college, fell victim to the Great Depression.

The Law School survived not only the vicissitudes of those years but World War II as well, thanks to Dean Carl Manson, who taught all the classes while the other professors were off to the war. During the post-war years, Dr. Manson took over direction of the School as Dean, a post he held until his death in 1980. Under his leadership the School operated successfully in the Long Beach area where during approximately three quarters of a century it has graduated hundreds of attorneys who served and still serve the area in private law practice, in public service, and as judges and leaders in the legal community.

Under the continued stewardship of Dean Irv Schleimer, elevated to that post from the PCU faculty in 1981, the University has continued to meet its goal that the attorneys receiving their legal training here, representing as they do a diversity of ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds, share a common dedication to their chosen profession and the community they serve, morally determined and professionally equipped to advance this process. Dean Schleimer officially retired from PCU in late 1999 and has been succeeded by Dean William Lewis, both a graduate of PCU and 20 year faculty member, who continues to maintain the honored and time-tested traditions of the University.

Pacific Coast University law professors are all dedicated local practicing attorneys and judges, and the schools alumni are serving in a wide variety of specialties in the Bar and the Bench.

From the first, Pacific Coast University opened its doors to everyone. One of the first African-American Superior Court Judges in Southern California, William A. Ross, was a PCU graduate, as was the first woman Superior Court Judge, Kathleen Parker. PCU classes during these years were as representative of the diversity of our community as they are today. During a period when, for example, women made up only 2.7% of the profession as late as 1963, PCU was graduating 30% or more women each year.

Operating as a non-profit school, PCU afforded opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to disadvantaged students. In a sense, all evening law students who work full-time during the day and are busy raising families, are at a disadvantage. However, these hard-working individuals, typically a decade or more older than the average student in major schools, bring to their law studies a wealth of practical experience in the working world and a true appreciation for the opportunity that PCU has opened for them.

The best witnesses to the living history of Pacific Coast University can be found in the words of its graduates:

"PCU offers a unique opportunity for the law student. The practical experiences of the faculty and fellow students add a valuable dimension not available at other law schools. I am grateful to the school for enabling me to have a successful law practice and recommend it highly to any prospective law student," Modesto A. Diaz, partner in Leviton, Rabine, Diaz et al., Santa Ana.

"The availability of Pacific Coast University provided me with an opportunity that I would not have had otherwise to attend and complete law school. It is one of just a few law schools designed for the working adult and its location, schedule and affordable tuition make it possible for these people to advance and enrich their personal and professional lives," Robert W. Parkin, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge.

"Pacific Coast University is unique among law schools in California, providing opportunities for students to assist one another in a non-competitive atmosphere designed to enhance the learning process for all. The "working" faculty adds a "real life" dimension to the traditional law school academic regimen," William J. Lewis, Attorney-In-Charge, State Compensation Insurance Fund, Santa Ana Legal Department.

School name:Pacific Coast UniversitySchool of Law
Address:1650 Ximeno Ave., Suite 310
Zip & city:CA 90804 California

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