Accepting Applications for Fall 2008.
Celebrating 34 years of Public Interest Law
San Francisco, California
Video message from Associate Dean of Admissions Sharon Pittman:|
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
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
Download the Law School Catalog (PDF) (6 MB)