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Accepting Applications for Fall 2008.


Celebrating 34 years of Public Interest Law
San Francisco, California

Video message from Associate Dean of Admissions Sharon Pittman:


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New College of California School of Law is located in San Francisco's Civic Center, housed in a four-story Spanish-style landmark building designed in 1932 by the architectural firm of Willis Polk. As part of an innovative collaboration, New College shares this building with Bay Area Legal Aid, the largest legal services provider in San Francisco. New College students receive immediate opportunities to intern with dedicated attorneys providing legal services to low income populations. The College also occupies buildings in San Francisco's Mission District, housing other academic programs.

The Law School is centrally located for the study of law. It is within walking distance of San Francisco City Hall, major libraries, government offices, the State Bar of California, various law firms, and California and federal courts. Our students find it convenient to do apprenticeships at one or more of the local offices and agencies.

All major forms of public transportation, including BART, the Municipal Railway and Golden Gate Transit, serve the Civic Center Area. The Civic Center is the site of the San Francisco Opera, Symphony, and Ballet. San Francisco's progressive legal community provides ample opportunity for law students to become involved in a variety of public interest pursuits by providing legal services to the poor, criminal defense work, environmental protection advocacy, or advising socially conscious small businesses. In addition, the diverse neighborhoods of San Francisco provide students with unique and exciting opportunities beyond classroom training.

New College of California School of Law

NEW COLLEGE OF CALIFORNIA SCHOOL OF LAW is the oldest public interest law school in the country. From its inception over 30 years ago, New College has been a leader in the effort to link law and social justice. Our innovative program uses critical legal analysis, apprenticeships, clinical electives, and a supportive environment to help students of different ethnicities, income levels, and social backgrounds succeed. The law school emerged against the backdrop of the civil rights movement and other progressive movements of that time. Our desire has been to provide an outstanding legal education to people who would use their legal knowledge to redress injustices, and change the status quo for the better.

Today, our program is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California. Although the program is demanding and rigorous, we offer a full range of supportive services to assist students in their academic advancement. We at New College understand that there are numerous demands on our law students, and we try to make the program as accommodating to these demands as possible.

We believe our mission is to educate socially responsible lawyers. Now that we are in a new millennium, the need for legal advocacy becomes greater as resources shrink for communities that are neither fully educated nor politically organized. A New College legal education teaches community empowerment through traditional legal methods as well as through coalition building and human understanding.

New College recognizes that the challenge facing public interest attorneys is to combine litigation with negotiation, mediation, community healing, media savvy, and political action. To be effective advocates for social change, all avenues to progress need to be explored and mastered. New College School of Law seeks to continually strengthen its curriculum so that students can acquire the diversity of skills needed to bring about change.

Public interest attorneys of the 21st century are faced with new global economic and political systems that affect their local communities. Our law school understands this, and is seeking ways to link our domestic program with international public interest internships as well as job opportunities abroad for our students and alumni. For example, several years ago I visited South Africa where efforts to form a new democracy were taking place. After decades of governmental oppression under a system where society was deeply divided and characterized by strife, conflict, untold suffering and injustice, the country embarked upon a healing process, and a complete legal and spiritual transformation. While there, I met with Commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This Commission was established to make public the truth about the injustices of apartheid, and to seek reconciliation instead of vengeance. Indeed the South African Constitution states that the pursuit of national unity, the well being of all South African citizens, and peace require reconciliation amongst the peoples of South Africa and the humane construction of a more just society.

New College feels that our students should have exposure to these revolutionary ideas and nation building processes. In our opinion, these are the types of movements and issues that public interest attorneys should be a part of, and in that vein, we are seeking legal internships for our students not only in South Africa but also in other transformative settings throughout the world.

Our overriding goal at New College is to keep the flame burning for justice, equality, and human understanding while training sensitive, talented, and principled legal professionals. We know that public interest lawyers need to be creative and resourceful in finding ways to accomplish their clients' goals.

New College offers an innovative and refreshing educational program. You will be inspired by its legacy and motivated by its community of students, professors, administrators, alumni, and friends. Please feel free to visit our program during the academic year. I look forward to meeting with you.


Debrenia F. Madison, Dean



New College of California
School of Law
50 Fell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
1-415-241-1300
1-415-241-9525 (fax)

New College of California School of Law is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California and the Western Association of Schools & Colleges
985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 748-9001


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Sharon Pittman
Associate Dean of Admissions
School of Law

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