90 Years of Excellence

Message From Dean Schaumann

As California Western School of Law celebrates its 90th year, we pay tribute to its distinguished history and to all who have made it possible. Looking ahead to our centennial in 2024, and focusing on the challenge of educating and preparing lawyers for the future, we look beyond the bricks and mortar to recognize the real glue that holds the school together—the people of Cal Western.

Our school owes its legacy of access to the legal profession and social responsibility to the students, alumni, faculty, staff, and families who make up the California Western community, past and present.

During this time of celebration, we recognize and thank those who helped Cal Western get to where it is today, and ask for your continued support as we embark upon the next stage of growth.

This year we celebrate you. Thank you for being an essential part of Cal Western’s first 90 years. We warmly invite you to participate in this noteworthy celebration throughout 2014!

Neils Schaumann
Dean Schaumann

Res Ipsa 90th Anniversary Issue Cover

Learn more about our 90 year history in a special issue of Res Ipsa Online.

Honoring our


School Deans from 1924 to Present

California Western Historical Timeline

Since 1924, California Western School of Law has enjoyed a rich and varied history. Yet through ninety years of change, transition, and progress, one thing has remained constant: our commitment to training aspiring, practice-ready lawyers.

California Western was chartered. It was renamed Balboa Law College three years later.

California Western was accredited by the American Bar Association. It became a member of the Association of American Law Schools in 1967.

1968 California Western University, which included undergraduate studies, changed its name to the United States International University. The law school retained the name California Western School of Law.

1973 The law school relocated from its Point Loma location to its current downtown campus before ending its affiliation with USIU and becoming an independent law school.

We take pride in our unique and varied history, which makes us who we are today.

An assortment of photos from California Western's history
Advancing Our


What Makes California Western Great

As San Diego’s first law school, we are always working to strengthen our academic and public resources for the betterment of our students and the community at large.

  • Preparing Students for Practice: Our clinical internship program, law firm incubator, client-attorney simulation courses, and practice-focused curriculum give students hands-on experience to prepare them to meet the demands of legal practice.

  • Training Future Champions of Justice: Our longstanding commitment to training students as ethical advocates of justice has resulted in our receiving the President’s Pro Bono Service Award. We are the only law school named to President Obama’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.

  • Our Commitment to Excellence: California Western ranks in the top 20 law schools in the nation for bar exam performance and LSAT scores, with one of the highest bar-passage rates in California.*

*The National Jurist, 2012

We strive to do more for, and on behalf of, our students, faculty, and alumni.

An assortment of photos showing students in lectures
Ensuring Our