Telephone: (619) 239-0391



ABA Approved Since 1962


California Western School of Law, located in downtown San Diego, is among the few independent, nonprofit law schools in the country. California Western is accredited by the American Bar Association (1962) and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (1967).


Chartered in 1924, California Western attained independent status in 1975. This independence allows students and faculty to focus specifically on the teaching, research, and study of law. Learning is not limited to classroom discussion, but flows into the hallways, en route to the Law Library, or at lunch in the Castetter Courtyard. Rare at other institutions, but common at California Western, the collegiality among faculty and students is second only to the teaching of law.


California Western School of Law educates lawyers as creative problem solvers and principled advocates, who frame the practice of law as a helping collaborative profession. California Western’s distinguished faculty of scholars and practitioners challenges students to find answers, apply facts, research what the law is and should be, and understand how law influences the lives of individuals, organizations, and societies. Creative solutions emerge in classroom discussions, internship experiences, moot court problems, Law Review participation, and informal dialogue between students and faculty and with lawyers in San Diego’s dynamic bar.


In addition to a well-balanced Juris Doctor curriculum, which includes a strong emphasis in Creative Problem Solving and Trial Advocacy Skills, California Western offers impressive opportunities in interdisciplinary training. Specialized programs, developed collaboratively with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and San Diego State University (SDSU), include the J.D./M.S.W. and J.D./M.B.A. with SDSU and J.D./Ph.D. programs in both Political Science and History with UCSD. A Master’s Degree in Health Law is offered jointly with UCSD. Areas of concentration, which provide students with advanced study in select areas of law, include International Law; Creative Problem Solving; Labor and Employment Law; Child, Family, and Elder Law; Criminal Prosecution and Defense Practice; Health Law and Policy; and Intellectual Property; Telecommunications and Technology Regulation. Among the advantages at California Western is the trimester academic calendar, which allows for three complete terms each year and the opportunity for students to earn their J.D. in two years. California Western offers Fall and Spring entering classes.


The Center for Creative Problem Solving is a legal education institute working with legal educators, students, lawyers, judges, and society in exploring collaborative approaches to conflict resolution and problem solving. The center is also a leader in the Latin American judicial reform and rule of law movement.


The Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy is dedicated to improving the quality of criminal defense representation. The institute hosts an acclaimed national Trial Skills Academy for attorneys from across the country. Within the institute are the California and Hawaii Innocence Projects, a California Western program that investigates convictions and assists in representing clients who are incarcerated despite strong evidence of innocence.


Through the National Center for Preventive Law and the Louis M. Brown Program in Preventive Law, faculty and students collaborate in research, courses, public lectures, and community projects regarding techniques of forecasting and preventing potential legal confrontations. Students, alumni, faculty, and San Diego bench and bar study and conduct research in California Western’s Law Library, a four-story, 50,000-square-foot resource center with more than 180,000 hardbound volumes; 160,000 microform equivalent volumes; and 3,900 serial subscriptions. Dedicated September 11, 2000 by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the state-of-art Law Library contains the essential resources required for legal research.


Dean: Steven R. Smith (619) 239-0391

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: William J. Aceves (619) 525-1413

Associate Dean for Administration: Laura M. Padilla (619) 525-1410

Director of the Law Library: Phyllis C. Marion (619) 525-1429

Chief Financial Officer: Pamela J. Duffy (619) 525-7097

Assistant Dean for External Affairs: David D. Bowers (619) 515-1540

Assistant Dean for Academic Achievement:

Marilyn R. Scheininger (619) 515-1578

Assistant Dean for Career Services: Louis W. Helmuth (619) 525-7093

Assistant Dean for Mission Development: James M. Cooper (619) 525-1430

Assistant Dean for Student and Diversity Services:

Elyce C. Morris (619) 515-1575

Assistant Dean of Admissions: Traci D. Howard (619) 525-1401

Director of Financial Aid: Kelly E. Fernando (619) 525-7062

Director of Human Resources: Rikkyln S. Ueda (619) 515-1593

Executive Director, Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy:

Justin Brooks (619) 525-7079




STEVEN RAY SMITH, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1971, Iowa; 1987, Kentucky; 1993, Ohio. Education: Buena Vista College (B.A., 1968); University of Iowa College of Law (J.D. and M.A., 1971). COURSES:Law & Medicine, Law & Psychology, Torts. Email:srs @


WILLIAM JOSEPH ACEVES, (Law Professor), born Los Angeles, California, July 29, 1964; admitted to bar, 1990, California. Education: Claremont McKenna College (B.A., 1986); University of Southern California Law School (J.D.; M.A., 1990); Harvard University (M.A., 1996); University of California, Los Angeles School of Law (LL.M., 1996). COURSES:Human Rights, Comparative Law, International Law, Civil Procedure, Foreign Affairs and the Constitution. Email:wja @


THOMAS D. BARTON, (Law Professor), born 1949; admitted to bar, 1975, New York; 1990, California. Education: Tulane University (B.A., 1971); Cornell University Law School (J.D.,1974); Cambridge University (Ph.D., 1982). COURSES:Contracts, Energy Policy, Jurisprudence, Law &Social Science, Professional Responsibility, Taxation, Federal. Email:tbarton @


MICHAL R. BELKNAP, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1983, Georgia. Education: University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., 1965); University of Wisconsin (M.A., 1967, Ph.D., 1973); University of Texas School of Law (J.D., 1981). COURSES:Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Legal History, Legal Method, Torts, Warren Court. Email:mbelknap @


LAURENCE A. BENNER, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1971, Illinois; 1975, Michigan; 1979, District of Columbia. Education: Michigan State University (B.A., 1967); University of Chicago (J.D., 1970). COURSES: Clinical Teaching, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Legal Method. Email: lbenner @


LISA M. BLACK, (Law Professor), born Houston, Texas, July 5, 1960; admitted to bar, 1985, Texas; 1987, California. Education: University of Texas (B.S., 1982; J.D., 1985). COURSES:Legal Skills. Email:lblack @


ROBERT A. BOHRER, (Law Professor), born 1949; admitted to bar, 1974, Illinois. Education: Haverford College (B.A., 1971); University of Illinois College of Law (J.D., 1974); Harvard Law School (LL.M., 1979). COURSES:Administrative Law, Biotechnology Law, Torts, FDA Law. Email:rbohrer @


JANET MARIE FRAHM BOWERMASTER, (Law Professor), born Sioux Falls, South Dakota, May 5, 1948; admitted to bar, 1984, Illinois; Indiana. Education: Huntington College (B.S., 1971); University of Illinois (M.S., 1976); University of Illinois College of Law (J.D., 1984). COURSES:Community Property, Family Law, Juvenile Law, Torts, Domestic Violence. Email:jbowermaster @


JUSTIN P. BROOKS, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1990, Pennsylvania; 1991, District of Columbia; 1996, Michigan; 2000 California. Education: Temple University (B.B.A., 1986); American University (J.D., 1990); Georgetown University (LL.M., 1992). COURSES:Criminal Law and Procedure. Email:jxc @


ARTHUR W. CAMPBELL, (Law Professor), born 1944; admitted to bar, 1971, District of Columbia; 1971, West Virginia; 1974, California. Education: Harvard University (A.B., 1966); West Virginia University (J.D., 1971); Georgetown University (LL.M., 1974). COURSES:Copyright, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Entertainment Law, Federal Courts. Email:awc @


ALLISON D. CATO, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1991, California. Education: University of Southern California (B.A., 1988; J.D., 1991). COURSES: Legal Skills. Email:acato @


SUSAN A. CHANNICK, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1980, California. Education: Cornell University (B.A., 1965); California Western School of Law (J.D., 1980). COURSES:Aging, Law &Public Policy, Community Property, Contracts, Family Law, Remedies, Trusts & Estates. Email:schannick @


MARIO G. CONTE, (Law Professor), born April 12, 1943; admitted to bar, 1978, Connecticut; 1980, California. Education: St. Michael’s College (B.A., 1965); New York Medical College (M.S., 1968); University of Connecticut School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1978). COURSES: Lawyering Skills, Evidence Advocacy, Faculty Advisor to Moot Court Honors Board, Entertainment and Sports Law Society. Email: mconte @


JAMES M. COOPER, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1993, Ontario, Canada. Education: University of Toronto (B.A., 1987; LL.B., 1990); University of Cambridge (LL.M., 1992). COURSES:Comparative and International Law, Legal Reform, Problem Solving, International Trade Law. Email:jcooper @


BARBARA J. COX, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1982, Wisconsin. Education: University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D., 1982). COURSES:Civil Procedure, Property, Sexual Orientation & the Law, Women & the Law. Email:bcox @


ROBERT R. DEKOVEN, (Law Professor), born Chicago, Illinois, September 24, 1958; admitted to bar, 1984, California. Education: San Diego State University (B.A., 1980); California Western School of Law (J.D., 1983). COURSES:Legal Writing, Appellate Advocacy. Email:rdekoven @


MICHAEL H. DESSENT, (Law Professor), born Chicago, Illinois, September 24, 1942; admitted to bar, 1967, California. Education: Northwestern University (B.S., 1964; J.D., 1967). Email:mdessent @


SCOTT B. EHRLICH, (Law Professor), born New York, N.Y., May 4, 1952; admitted to bar, 1977, New York; 1978, California. Education: SUNY, Stonebrook (B.A., 1973); New York University (J.D., 1976); Harvard (LL.M., 1980). COURSES: Bankruptcy, Business Planning, Legal Analysis, Legal Method, Property, Secured Transactions. Email:sehrlich @


FLORALYNN EINESMAN, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1980, California. Education: McGill (B.A., 1977); Boston University (J.D., 1980). COURSES: Clinical Teaching, Criminal Procedure, Evidence. Email:feinesman @


KATHRYN FEHRMAN, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1983, Michigan; 1987, California. Education: Trinity College (B.A., 1975); Hartman Theatre Conservatory (1977); University of Detroit (J.D., 1983); Naval Justice School (Certificate, 1984). COURSES:Legal Skills. Email:kfehrman @


JESSICA FINK, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 2001, Illinois; 2006, California. Education: University of Michigan (B.A., 1997); Harvard Law School (J.D., 2001). COURSES:Constitutional Law, Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Remedies. Email:jfink @


RICHARD J. FINKMOORE, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1974, California; 1976, Washington. Education: Stanford (J.D., 1974). COURSES:Environmental Law, Natural Resources, Property. Email:rfinkmoore @


RUBEN J. GARCIA, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1997, California. Education: Stanford University (A.B., 1992); University of California at Los Angeles School of Law (J.D., 1996); University of Wisconsin (LL.M., 2002). COURSES:Labor Law, Employment Law, International Labor and Employment Law, NAFTA and Labor, Legal Ethics. Email:rgarcia @


PAUL J. GUDEL, (Law Professor), born Brooklyn, New York, October 1, 1948; admitted to bar, 1984, Illinois. Education: University of Chicago (B.A., 1970; M.A., 1973); Northwestern (J.D., 1984). COURSES: Contracts, Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Jurisprudence, Law & Literature, Philosophy of Law. Email: pgudel @


RUTH M. HARGROVE, (Law Professor), born Boston, Massachusetts, December 23, 1953; admitted to bar, 1979, California. Education: University of Massachusetts (B.A., magna cum laude, 1975); University of San Diego School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1979). COURSES: Legal Research and Writing, Trial Motion Practice. Email: rhargrove @


MARILYN J. IRELAND, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1969, Illinois; 1976, Missouri. Education: Miami University, Oxford (B.A., 1966); University of Chicago (J.D., 1969). COURSES: Antitrust, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Evidence, Torts, Women & the Law. Email:mireland @


ANDREA L. JOHNSON, (Law Professor), born Cleveland, Ohio, August 7, 1956; admitted to bar, 1982, District of Columbia. Education: Harvard (J.D., 1981). COURSES: Administration Law, Business Organizations, Land Use, Local Government, Real Property, Telecommunications Law. Email:ajohnson @


NANCY S. KIM, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1991, California. Education: University of California, Berkeley (A.B., with distinction, 1987); University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall (J.D., 1990); University of California, Los Angeles (LL.M., 1993). COURSES:Contracts, Licensing, Sales. Email:nsk @


KENNETH S. KLEIN, (Law Professor), born Dallas, Texas, September 23, 1959; admitted to bar, 1984, Texas; 1987, California. Education: Rice University (B.A., cum lade, 1981); University of Texas (J.D., highest honors, 1984). COURSES:Civil Procedure, Evidence. Email:kklein @


BRYAN A. LIANG, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1995, Connecticut. Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S., 1983); University of Chicago (Ph.D., 1989); Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (M.D., 1991); Harvard Law School (J.D., 1995). COURSES:Health Law Policy, Public Health Law and Policy. Email:bliang @


WILLIAM C. LYNCH, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1956, Massachusetts; 1975, California. Education: Boston College (B.A., 1953; J.D., 1956); George Washington (LL.M.). COURSES:Conflict of Laws, Evidence, Law of the Sea, Legal Research & Writing, Remedies, Torts. Email:wlynch @


PHYLLIS CASTLE MARION, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1990, Minnesota. Education: Michigan State University (B.A., 1966); University of Chicago (M.A., 1968); William Mitchell (J.D., 1990). COURSES:Legal Research & Writing. Email: pmarion @


LINDA H. MORTON, (Law Professor), born Baltimore, November 5, 1953; admitted to bar, 1982, Massachusetts; 1989, California. Education: Princeton (A.B., 1977); Northeastern (J.D., 1981). COURSES:Alternative Dispute Resolution, Clinical Teaching, Legal Drafting, Trial & Appellate Advocacy. Email:lmorton @


JOHN E. NOYES, (Law Professor), born 1951; admitted to bar, 1977, Connecticut. Education: Amherst College (B.A., 1973); University of Virginia (J.D., 1977). COURSES:Conflict of Laws, International Law, Torts, International Litigation and Arbitration, Law of the Sea. Email:jnoyes @


LAURA MARIE PADILLA, (Law Professor), born Los Angeles, California, January 19, 1962; admitted to bar, 1988, California; District of Columbia. Education: Stanford (B.A., 1983; J.D., 1987). COURSES:Community Property, Estates & Trusts, Gender, Property & Law, Property, Land Use. Email:lpadilla @


ROBERT F. SEIBEL, (Law Professor), born New York, New York, September 26, 1946; admitted to bar, 1971, Massachusetts; 1979, Illinois; 1980, Iowa; 1981, Maine; 1989, New York. Education: Bowdoin College (A.B., 1968); Northeastern University School of Law (J.D., 1971). COURSES: Clinical Teaching, Family Law, Law Office Technology. Email:rseibel @


JAQUELYN HERSH SLOTKIN, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1982, California. Education: Pittsburgh (B.A., 1963); West Virginia (M.A., 1965); University of Arizona (Ph.D., 1976); San Diego (J.D., 1982). COURSES:Clinical Teaching, Legal Analysis, Legal Research & Writing, Introduction to United States Law. Email: jslotkin @


GLENN C. SMITH, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1978, District of Columbia. Education: George Washington (B.A., 1975); New York University (J.D., 1978); Georgetown (LL.M., 1979). COURSES: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Legal Method, Legislation, Supreme Court, Decision Making. Email:gsmith @


DONALD J. SMYTHE, (Law Professor), Education: Yale University (Ph.D., 1992); University of Virginia (J.D., 1999). COURSES: Commercial Law, Property, Law & Economics. Email:dsmythe @


JAN STIGLITZ, (Law Professor), born Brooklyn, New York, July 21, 1947; admitted to bar, 1976, New York; 1982, California. Education: State University of New York at Buffalo (B.A., 1970); Albany Law School (J.D., 1975); Harvard University (LL.M.; 1980). COURSES:Civil Procedure, Torts, California Innocence Project Clinic. Email: jstiglitz @


ROBERTA K. THYFAULT, (Law Professor), born Denver, Colorado, November 7, 1952; admitted to bar, 1984, California; 1985, Colorado. Education: Metropolitan State College (B.A., 1980); California Western School of Law (J.D., 1984). COURSES:Legal Research, Legal Writing, Appellate Advocacy. Email:rthyfault @


JANET WEINSTEIN, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1974, California. Education: University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., 1968); University of San Diego (J.D., 1974). COURSES:Child Abuse & Neglect, Clinical Teaching, Legal Analysis, Community Organizing & Problem Solving. Email:jweinstein @


MARK I. WEINSTEIN, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1972, Pennsylvania; 1978, Missouri. Education: Rutgers (B.A., 1969); George Washington (J.D., 1972). COURSES:Clinical Teaching, Interviewing, Counseling & Negotiation, Civil Procedure I, Civil Procedure II. Email:mweinstein @


DANIEL BRIAN YEAGER, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1991, California. Education: Kenyon College (A.B., 1979); University of Florida (J.D., 1989); Illinois (LL.M., 1991). COURSES:Criminal Law Theory, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Law & Literature. Email:dyeager @


MICHAEL T. YU, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1995, New York; 1996, California. Education: Harvard College (A.B., 1990); Columbia University School of Law (J.D., 1994); New York University School of Law (LL.M., 1995). COURSES:Trusts and Estates, Federal Income Taxation, Estate and Gift Taxation, Community Property. Email:mty @