The UC Davis School of Law is named for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an international leader in the pursuit of civil rights, equality, and education, whose personal integrity and insistence on non-violence made his life an inspiration to all who seek to promote social justice by lawful and orderly means. Dr. King represents many of the values the Law School seeks to instill in its students, and the designation of the Law School building as King Hall serves as a tribute to his legacy.
Dr. King was assassinated April 4, 1968, as the UC Davis School of Law was finishing its second year of instruction. His death had an immediate and profound impact on Law School students and faculty, who were actively involved in the legal, political, and social debates of the time. They urged campus administrators to name the building after Dr. King as a way of honoring the slain civil right leader and dedicating the Law School to King's ideals of public service and social justice. The building was officially dedicated after Dr. King on April 12, 1969 in a ceremony including a speech by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren. "Even in the naming of the building, one can sense the high purpose to which its facilities are to be dedicated," said Warren.
During the 1980s, a committee of students and alumni commissioned a sculpture of Dr. King from artist Lisa Reinertson, which was prominently placed in the Law School foyer in 1987. The terra cotta sculpture, a life-size depiction of Dr. King in a robe carved with scenes from his life and associated figures and events from the civil rights movement, now graces the lobby of the newly expanded and renovated King Hall next to a digital exhibit dedicated to the life and legacy of Dr. King.
The mission of the School of Law of the University of California, Davis, is to be a nationally and internationally recognized leader in the development and dissemination of legal knowledge, as well as the education of students to become socially responsible lawyers committed to professional excellence and high ethical standards, and to provide significant public service through law reform and professional activities. Through its faculty, students, and graduates, the School of Law seeks to make substantial contributions toward solving the complex legal problems confronting our society.
|Director of admissions||Kristen Mercado|
|Application deadline||March 15|
|Approximate number of applications||2852|
|Tuition and fees Full-time:||$47,409 per year (in-state)
$56,660 per year (out-of-state)
|Room and board||$12,988|
Class Rank Information
Class rankings are updated at the end of each semester and emailed to students. After all grades have posted and GPAs have been updated, each graduating class is broken down into 5% increments based upon cumulative GPA. King Hall ranks its students based upon 5% increments only. We do not rank students numerically (i.e. 25th out of 175 students). If you have a potential employer or third party asking for your numerical class ranking, it is appropriate to explain that UC Davis does not use a numerical system and the percentage is the only ranking information available.
Students do not have an option to change the grading mode of a course from graded to non-graded (S/U). Students can choose a graded or non/graded option for Law 498 (Group Study), Law 499 (Independent Study), and Law 419 (Independent Writing Projects). Few courses are scheduled on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.
All courses, except those listed in paragraph 3.2, are graded by the following table of letter grades and numerical grade point equivalents:
|A+ or A||4.0|
It is the sense of the faculty that inequity in grading in the first-year sectioned courses should be avoided. In first-year sectioned courses, not including legal research and writing courses, faculty members should distribute grades as follows:
|Grade||Percentage of Class Receiving|
|A+, A, A-||20 percent (plus or minus 3 percent)|
|B+, B, B-||60 percent (plus or minus 3 percent)|
|C+ and below||20 percent (plus or minus 3 percent)|
|Grade||Percentage of Class Receiving|
|A+, A, A-||30 percent (plus or minus 3 percent)|
|B+, B, B-||65 percent (plus or minus 3 percent)|
|C+ and below||5 percent (plus or minus 3 percent)|
UC Davis is a member of the Order of the Coif. In order to be elected to the Order of the Coif, students must be in the top 10% of their graduating class and have 75% of their UC Davis units as graded units. Eligibility for Order of the Coif membership is determined after the sixth semester. UC Davis School of Law does not recognize Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude.
|Name of Award||Awarded for/to|
|Jun Aoki Book Award||N/A|
|C. Michael Cowett Award||N/A|
|Davis Law Students Medalist Prize||N/A|
|Richard M. Frank Environmental Writing Prize||N/A|
|Moses Lasky Anti-Trust Prize||N/A|
|John and Mary Quirk Environmental Award||N/A|
|William A. & Sally Rutter Distinguished Teaching Award||N/A|
UC Davis School of Law has five student run journals. Academic credit is offered to students for participating in select roles in three of the Law School's student journals: Environs, Journal of International Law & Policy, and the UC Davis Law Review. Information about all five journals is listed below.
UC Davis Law Review
The UC Davis Law Review publishes five issues annually. Four issues typically contain scholarly works by professionals and students in the traditional law review format. The fifth issue typically contains symposium pieces that deal in depth with a selected topic of interest to legal scholars and practicing lawyers. Past symposia receiving nation-wide attention explored First Amendment rights in public schools, Katz v. United States and its impact on constitutional criminal procedure, and intellectual property’s role in promoting social justice. A student’s acceptance onto law review is determined by a competitive write-on competition, as opposed to grade point average or faculty appointments.
Editors of the Law Review may receive four credits over two semesters for service as an Editor. Editors must have completed an editorship quality note or comment and must perform editorial duties requiring a substantial time commitment. Law Review awards credits to Editors on a deferred basis upon completion of both semesters and only after certification by the Editor in Chief of the Law Review and approval of the faculty advisors to the Law Review. Grading is on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.
A student can also receive credit as a Law Review Member by writing a membership-quality law review note or comment under the supervision of Editors of the Law Review. “Office hours” (production work done on forthcoming articles) are also required. In the spring semester credit may be obtained only upon achieving status as a Member of the Law Review, which requires that the student make substantial progress toward completing an editorship note or comment. Member status is awarded only after certification by a Senior Note and Comment Editor, who supervises the individual Member’s progress, as well as the completion of a sufficient amount of office hours. One unit of credit is earned the first semester. Two units are earned the second semester upon completing a editorship-quality draft. One unit is earned second semester if only a membership draft is completed. Grading is on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.
Business Law Journal
The UC Davis Business Law Journal (BLJ) is run by dedicated law students who are committed to providing current and valuable legal and business analysis. Participating students increase their opportunities to foster relationships with some of the most notable individuals in business law.
BLJ was the first business law journal in the nation to electronically publish articles written by professionals, academics, and law students using a concise, journalistic style. The journal is now published in both electronic and hard-copy format. While traditional law journals are heavy on academic theory and light on practical information, BLJ aims to provide a balanced synthesis of both. BLJ addresses a broad spectrum of issues that fall within the intersection of business and the law, including tax matters, intellectual property concerns, bankruptcy planning, employee benefits, information on the impact of recent legal rulings, and more.
BLJ also features interviews conducted by journal members with attorneys, professionals, judges, and academics. The interviews are aimed at providing timely and relevant discussions with and forecasts from those professionals who are shaping today's business and legal fields. Consequently, BLJ is a useful resource for both practitioners and academics in the often-interrelated worlds of business and law.
The students of BLJ are committed to bridging the gap between law school and practice, cultivating and sharing knowledge of developments in legal and business news, and promoting a new generation of ethical and professional business leaders.
Environs is a biannual environmental law and policy journal which supports an open forum for the discussion of current environmental issues. Articles explore environmental issues, particularly those pertaining to the state of California. The Editor in Chief of Environs receives one credit for each semester of service. The editor-in-chief of Environs receives two units credit for each semester of service. Managing editors receive 1 unit of credit. Grading is on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.
Journal of International Law & Policy
The Journal of International Law & Policy is a biannual journal produced by King Hall students with an interest in international law. The journal's goal is to provide interesting and well-written articles by both students and professionals. The editor-in-chief of the Journal receives two credits for each semester of service. Managing editors receive 1 unit of credit. Grading is on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis.
Journal of Juvenile Law & Policy
The Journal of Juvenile Law and Policy is a biannual publication of the UC Davis School of Law addressing the unique concerns of children, their advocates, and the American legal system. Initially a product of the creativity and activism of a small group of King Hall students, the Journal has evolved into a vigorous scholarly publication committed to providing practical information regarding current juvenile, family, and educational law issues. A unique publication, the Journal is bifurcated to publish both academic works as well as practitioner and juvenile submissions in each volume The ultimate goal of the Journal is to encourage awareness and involvement by the legal community in the various issues facing juveniles today.
UC Davis School of Law provides its students with an education that has a unique balance of theory and practice.
Each fall semester, a majority of the law school's second year students participate in Appellate Advocacy (commonly called "Moot Court") as an elective, attending lectures on appellate skills and participating in a series of practice oral arguments. The course in the fall culminates in the law school's annual Moot Court Competition, in which the students participate in appellate arguments which are judged and critiqued by dozens of local attorneys and judges who volunteer their time. Students who continue Appellate Advocacy in the spring semester focus their attention on appellate brief writing. The top students each year are selected to participate in the law school's annual Neumiller Competition, the final round of the law school's Moot Court Competition.
UC Davis School of Law provides many additional opportunities for students to hone their skills as appellate advocates. All students are eligible to participate in interschool moot court competitions, with preference given to those who have taken Appellate Advocacy. Students who excel in the Appellate Advocacy class during their second year are selected as members of the law school's Moot Court Board during their third year. In addition, the top students are selected to represent the law school in the National Moot Court Competition and the Roger Traynor Moot Court Competition (the California state championship). UC Davis School of Law has been very successful in interschool moot court competitions over the years. UC Davis School of Law is a past winner of the state moot court championship, and students on several interschool moot court teams were finalists in other national moot court competitions.
The Clinical Legal Education Program at UC Davis School of Law has operated since 1971. The clinics provide legal services without charge to indigent persons, particularly client groups that have traditionally lacked significant legal representation, such as noncitizens and victims of domestic violence.
Civil Rights Clinic
The Civil Rights Clinic allows students to advocate for the civil rights of prisoners and other indigents. Students have addressed far-reaching constitutional issues in the Ninth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court. Cases have included claims of denial of medical or dental care, correctional officer misconduct, denial of freedom of religion, violation of due process, excessive force, and false imprisonment. Clinic students also are encouraged to investigate matters involving gender, employment, education, housing, and police practices that may give rise to civil rights claims on behalf of indigent clients.
Family Protection and Legal Assistance Clinic
The UC Davis Family Protection and Legal Assistance Clinic (FPC) provides free civil legal assistance to victims of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. First opened in 1999, the FPC has represented hundreds of low-income victims in Yolo County and helped clients obtain restraining orders, financial support, and child custody. FPC further provides holistic legal advice and advocacy to victims on a wide array of legal areas impacted by abuse, including housing, employment, campus adjudicatory hearings, victims’ compensation, and criminal matters.
Immigration Law Clinic
The Immigration Law Clinic was one of the first of its kind in the United States. Given its proximity to the Central Valley, California’s agricultural center, the Clinic is in a unique position to serve the state’s large community of both documented and undocumented immigrants. Over the years, the Clinic has represented people from all over the world, including Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, and Eastern Europe.
Immigration Law Clinic Projects and Programs
The Immigration Law Clinic offers several programs and projects in which students can sharpen their lawyering skills and learn firsthand about immigration law and policy.
The Immigration Litigation Clinic litigates on behalf of immigrants facing removal proceedings in immigration court.
The King Hall Immigration Detention Project provides legal assistance to immigration detainees and litigates detention issues of national impact in immigration court and at the appellate level. The project provides counsel to public defenders so that they may render effective assistance of counsel in accordance with their duties under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Padilla v. Kentucky decision.
Prison Law Clinic
UC Davis law students in the Prison Law Clinic use their legal skills to assist persons with problems related to incarceration in state prison. Students advocate on their clients’ behalf with officials at the institution where the prisoner is housed, as well as by filing formal grievances with the California Department of Corrections. The Clinic is especially beneficial to students who wish to learn the art of negotiating and the intricacies of administrative law. Students who wish to practice criminal law, prosecution or defense, can learn about the California state prison system.
Aoki Social Justice Clinic
The Aoki Social Justice Clinic is a project of the Aoki Center for Critical Race & Nation Studies. The project seeks to foster student excellence in critical race theory with initiatives that connect learned theory to practice, improving the lives of subordinated groups.
Starting Salaries (2015 Graduates Employed Full-Time)
|Private sector (25th-75th percentile)||$80,000 - $145,000|
|Median in the private sector||$95,000|
|Median in public service||$47,500|
|Graduates known to be employed at graduation||49.2%|
|Graduates known to be employed ten months after graduation||72.4%|
|Graduates Employed In||Percentage|
|Business and Industry||10.4%|
|Public Interest Organizations||7.9%|
King Hall’s Externship Program allows students to earn academic credit for field placements in a government or public interest law office, while being jointly supervised by a practicing attorney and a member of the King Hall Faculty. Externships can be part or full-time, and offer students the opportunity to augment their classroom learning with hands-on, real-world lawyering experience. Over the past several years, King Hall externship placements have included District Attorney and Public Defender Offices, Judicial Chambers (both state and federal), the California Legislature, and a wide range of government offices, public interest, and public policy organizations.