University of California, Hastings College of the Law is a top tier law school located in the Civic Center of San Francisco, California. It was founded in 1878 by Serranus Clinton Hastings, the first Chief Justice of California, as the first law school of the University of California (UC). The University of California, Hastings College of the Law is also commonly referred to as "UC Hastings" or simply "Hastings." UC Hastings was one of the first law schools in the western United States, and is one of the few university-affiliated law schools in the United States that does not sit on a general university campus. US News currently ranks Hastings 38th among all top US law schools, 17th among public schools, and 7th among law schools in the western United States.
Hastings has a unique relationship with the University of California. When he gave $100,000 to the University of California to start the law school named after him, Justice Serranus Clinton Hastings
imposed two conditions: the school must remain in San Francisco near the courts; and it could not be governed by the Regents of the University of California
. Thus, the school's leader (who holds the dual titles of Chancellor and Dean) must directly obtain funds from the California Legislature, not the UC Regents, as other UC chancellors must do.
In the 1960s, Hastings began the "65 Club," the practice of hiring faculty who had been forced into mandatory retirement at age 65 from Ivy League and other elite institutions. After the passage of age discrimination laws, however, the "65 Club" slowly phased out, and Hastings hired its last "65 Club" professor in 1998. In the mid-1950s, Newsweek Magazine published a story where then Harvard Law School Dean and Prominent Jurist Roscoe Pound declared, referring to UC Hastings: "Indeed, on the whole, I am inclined to think you have the strongest law faculty in the nation.
UC Hastings is located at 200 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.
The university spreads among three main buildings, located along the 100 and 200 blocks of McAllister Street, in San Francisco's Civic Center. It is walking distance from the Civic Center BART and MUNI stations. UC Hastings is commonly but affectionately derided by students and alums as being located in the ugliest corner of the most beautiful city in the world. Indeed, the school was once referred to affectionately as UC Tenderloin long before it chose its new nickname, UC Hastings. Nevertheless, UC Hastings offers a very safe learning environment. Located within a two-block radius of the campus is the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, the California Supreme Court, the California Court of Appeal for the First District, San Francisco Superior Court, San Francisco City Hall, United Nations Plaza (and Federal Building Annex), the San Francisco Asian Arts Museum, and the San Francisco County Public Library. The heavy concentration of public administrative buildings within the Civic Center, as well as the high crime rate, result in constant police presence in and around UC Hastings.
Organization and structure
UC Hastings is controlled by a nine-member Board of Directors. The UC Hastings Board of Directors exists independently of, and is not controlled by, the Regents of the University of California
. Pursuant to California law, eight of the directors are appointed by the Governor of California. Pursuant to the UC Hastings constitutive documents, the ninth director must be a direct lineal descendant of UC Hastings founder Clinton Serranus Hastings.
UC Hastings' detachment from the UC Regents gives it a broad degree of independence in shaping educational and fiscal policies; however, due to a shrinking California education budget, Hastings must also compete for limited educational funds against its fellow UCs. Despite the apparent competition between the UC law schools, Hastings has been able to maintain its traditionally high standards without having to decrease class size or raise tuition prices to higher levels than fellow UC law schools.
Hastings offers a three-year Juris Doctor
program with concentrated studies available in seven areas: civil litigation, criminal law, international law, public interest law, taxation, family law, and recently, a new concentration in intellectual property law. Most J.D.
students follow a traditional three-year plan. During the first year, students take required courses as well as one elective course. In the second and third years, students may take any course or substitute or supplement their courses with judicial externships or internships, judicial clinics, or study abroad. The college also offers a one-year LL.M.
degree in U.S. legal studies for students holding law degrees
from foreign law programs.
ranks Hastings 38th among top law schools in the US, and is the most diverse
of the four law schools in the UC system. It also has the largest student body and student/faculty ratio of the UC schools. In addition, it is the least expensive law school in the UC system, and although it also grants the least financial aid, students tend to graduate with less debt
on average than at UCLA
, although with more than at Berkeley
According to Brian Letier's Law School rankings, Hastings ranks 27th in the nation in terms of scholarly impact as measured by academic citations of tenure-stream faculty, on par with USC. In terms of student quality, Hastings ranks 38th in the nation by LSAT scores in the 75th percentile.
UC Hastings is 14th in the nation for bar passage rate versus the average passage rate of its venue state.
According to the Web site "Law School Advocacy," UC Hastings had the No. 2 Moot Court program in the country in 2007.
Inaugurated in 1997 as the publishing department at UC Hastings, the O'Brien Center for Scholarly Publications publishes seven journals on various aspects of the law. The oldest journal out of the eight is the Hastings Law Journal,
which was founded in 1949. The O'Brien Center also has published two books: Forgive Us Our Press Passes
, by Daniel Schorr and The Traynor Reader: Essays
, by the Honorable Roger Traynor
- Dick Ackerman (1967) - California State Senate Republican Leader
- Jeff Adachi (1985) - The Public Defender of San Francisco
- Jeffrey Amestoy (1972) - Former Chief Justice of The Vermont Supreme Court
- Nestor Barrero (1984) - Vice President and Employment Counsel for Universal Studios
- Marvin Baxter (1966) - Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court
- Michael D. Bradbury (1967) - former District Attorney of Ventura County, California
- Lloyd Braun (1983) - former media executive with Yahoo!, former chairman of the American Broadcasting Company Entertainment group
- Matthew R. Broad (1984) - Executive Vice President and General Counsel for OfficeMax Incorporated
- Willie Brown (1958) - former Speaker of the California State Assembly and Mayor of San Francisco
- Melvin Brunetti (1964) - Senior Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Richard Bryan (1963) - Former U.S. Senator and Governor of Nevada
- Cynthia Bryant (1995) - Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Deputy Chief of Staff
- James S. Bubar (1978) - Democratic candidate for US (Shadow) Representative from the District of Columbia
- Ed Case (1981) - U.S. Congressman from Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District
- Suzanne Case (1983) - Executive Director, Nature Conservancy of Hawaii
- Rachelle Chong (1984) - Current Commissioner for California PUC and former FCC Commissioner
- Carol Corrigan (1975) - Associate Justice, Supreme Court of California
- Joe Cotchett (1964) - Nationally prominent trial lawyer & famous social justice litigator, attorney for Valerie Plame
- Bill Dannemeyer (1952) - U.S. Congressman from California's 39th Congressional District (Orange County)
- Christopher Darden (1980) - prosecutor in O.J. Simpson trial
- Scott Drexel (1975) - chief prosecutor, State Bar of California
- Sidney M. Ehrman (1897) - Co-Founder and Named Partner of International Law Firm Heller Ehrman LLP
- Clair Engle (1933) - U.S. Senator from California
- Santiago Fernandez (1980) - Senior Vice President and General Counsel for The Los Angeles Dodgers
- Clara Shortridge Foltz (1881) - The first practicing female lawyer in the United States
- Philip Kan Gotanda (1978) - Award-winning playwright
- Abby Ginzberg (1975) - Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker
- Karla Gray (1976) - Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court
- Kathryn Walt Hall (1972) - Former U.S. Ambassador to Austria
- Terence Hallinan (1964) - San Francisco District Attorney
- Kamala Harris (1990) - San Francisco District Attorney
- Emanuel S. Heller (1889) - Founder and Named Partner of International Law Firm Heller Ehrman LLP
- Bob Hertzberg (1979) - former Speaker of the California State Assembly and Los Angeles mayoral candidate
- Vicki Iovine (1980) - Playboy Playmate, Author
- Gregg Jarrett (1980) - Anchor, Fox News Channel
- Nick Jones (2007) - Grandson of "Deep Throat" Mark Felt, responsible for coordinating revelation of Deep Throat's identity to the media
- Parker Kennedy (1949) - President, First American Corporation
- Constance Lau (1977) - President & CEO, American Savings Bank, Honolulu
- Otto Lee (1994) - Mayor of Sunnyvale
- Carl Leonard (1968) - Chairman and Director of the Hildebrandt Institute, the educational arm of Hildebrandt International, and former Chairman of Morrison & Foerster
- Jonathan P. Lowell (1985) - City Attorney for San Bruno, California
- John Maata (1977) - Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Warner Bros. Studios
- Frank D.G. Madison (1892) - Named Partner of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro, now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
- Robert Matsui (1966) - U.S. Congressman from California's 5th Congressional District (Sacramento)
- Edward J. McCutchen (1879) - Founder and Named Partner of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, now Bingham McCutchen LLP
- Thomas Mesereau (1979) - Famous criminal defense attorney with a star-studded client list, including Michael Jackson and Robert Blake
- Nicholas G. Moore (1967) - Chairman of PriceWaterhouseCoopers
- Alexander Francis Morrison (1881) - Founder and Named Partner of International Law Firm Morrison & Foerster LLP
- George Moscone (1957) - Assassinated Mayor of San Francisco
- Paula A. Nakayama (1979) - Associate Justice of the Hawaii State Supreme Court
- John M. Ordway (1976) - U.S. Ambassador to Armenia
- Horace Davis Pillsbury (1896) - GC & President, Pacific Bell; Son of Evans Searle Pillsbury of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
- Mario R. Ramil (1975) - Associate Justice of the Hawaii State Supreme Court
- Robert Rigsby (1986) - Associate Justice in the D.C. Superior Court
- George R. Roberts (1969)- Co-Founder, of Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts Company
- Richard Sakai (1980) - BAR/BRI Lecturer for Legal Writing, USF Law Professor
- Kevin Shelley (1980) - 28th California Secretary of State
- Douglas W. Shorenstein (1979) - Chairman/CEO, The Shorenstein Company
- Jackie Speier (1976) - U.S. Congresswoman
- Todd Spitzer (1989) - California State Assemblyman
- Alfred Sutro (1894) - Named Partner of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro, now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
- Marguerite Sweeney-Edralin (1977) - State Bar of California's 2007 Workers Compensation Attorney of the Year
- Kelvin Taketa (1980) - President & CEO, Hawaii Community Foundation, Director of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc.
- Nancy Tellem (1979) - CBS Entertainment President
- Richard Thalheimer (1974) - CEO and Founder of The Sharper Image
- Tom Umberg (1980) - California State Assemblyman
- Ann Veneman (1976) - 27th U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Executive Director of UNICEF
- Adam Wasserman (1995) - Founder of ExamSoft Worldwide, Inc.
- Michael C. Wood (1979) - President & Founder, LeapFrog Enterprises
Current Notable Faculty Members
The Sixty-Five Club: Notable Former Faculty Members
Hastings in popular culture