PCL was created to bring legal resources to under-represented communities and train legal advocates who will secure progressive social change and justice in society. Our goals are 1) to train advocates for human rights, tenants’ rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, consumer rights, workers’ rights; to fight discrimination, economic and political oppression, abuse of power, and 2) to enable and empower those who have been historically denied legal resources and protections.
If you are NOT comfortable advocating for the under represented, the poor, the disabled, the incarcerated, minority groups, women, immigrants, environmentalists, anti-war activists, or the lesbian, gay, and trans community, (just to name a few), PCL is not the place for you; PCL was created to defend, and actively recruits people from these particular communities.
Applicants are required to have completed at least two years of college education (60 semester units or 90 quarter units in a curricular program that, if completed, would earn a bachelor’s degree) or have passed the CLEP (College Level Examination Program) with grades meeting minimum standards set by the California Committee of Bar Examiners.
If you have neither earned a Bachelor’s degree, nor passed the CLEP, you must have completed the 60 required transferable units. Unfortunately, not all classes in community colleges or technical schools are transferable. If you are not sure how many transferable units you have completed, contact the California Bar for a “Credit Evaluation.”
An eligible candidate will be able to demonstrate a commitment to progressive social change. This is often best shown with, for example, verifiable evidence of recent volunteer service, whether in community, international, political, labor or other spheres of activity, and whether in organizing, membership, leadership, or other forms of involvements. Tell us about your commitment to progressive social change. What have you done? What do you plan to do?
1. A completed application and at least three letters of recommendation must be submitted along with the application fee (presently $50).
2. While the tuition is low, at this time the school provides no financial assistance, nor does it have scholarship resources, therefore the student must be able to pay tuition. There may be private sources for scholarships based upon need and/or merit.
3. The applicant must be interviewed by a small panel of faculty and students who will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors based upon review of the application and interview.
PCL does accept transfer students who meet the admission requirements. However, before a student applies to PCL, he or she is responsible to contact the California Bar to secure from them a clarification of units which are still needed. In addition, PCL has a 2-year minimum commitment requirement. Currently, the State Bar charges $30.00 for this service.
Maintenance of the School : Accountability Hours
“Accountability” refers to the requirement that each student be accountable to the PCL collective by contributing 40 hours of work per school year to school operations.
The administrative office works with the Accountability Committee on assigning tasks to students and ensuring that work requirements are fulfilled. If you have a skill that can contribute to the school, you can earn accountability time for it. i.e., are you a carpenter, a typist, a web-master, a grant-writer, a fund-raiser?
The State Bar of California
At different phases of your legal studies and career, you will be responsible for meeting State Bar requirements, taking an examination or paying a fee.
You can download most forms from the Admissions section. You need to register with State Bar as a Law Student within 90 days of beginning law school. The State Bar imposes penalties for late registration or submission of incomplete paperwork. Become familiar with all State Bar deadlines.
1149 S. Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015-2299
*****Open House Events*****
PCL offers monthly Open House Events in which you can see the school, ask questions and even sit in on the lecture. Open House events are held regularly during the school year. Contact the administrator at 213-483-0083 for additional information or click here for a current schedule. Come in and decide if you are ready to commit four years of your life to your future and to your progressive causes!
CLASSES OPEN FOR ADMISSION IN THE FALL
The standard First Year Substantive Courses are offered in 15-week semesters, with classes beginning after Labor Day and ending in May. First year students attend class three nights a week during the first semester and four nights a week during the second semester.
First Year Courses
Criminal Law………… 1 Semester (3 units per semester class = 3 units)
Legal Writing………… 2 Semesters (3 units per semester class = 6 units)
Tort Law……………….. 2 Semesters (3 units per semester class = 6 units)
Contract Law…………. 2 Semesters (3 units per semester class = 6 units)
Total: 21 Units
Criminal Law – This introductory course provides an opportunity to become well grounded in the common law of crimes and the defenses to crimes, as modified by widely adopted statutory devises. The subject matter is well suited to the development of skills in issue identification and creative problem solving. A social and political approach is used to analyze how such factors are applied to determine if behavior is criminal and to examine the impact of the criminal justice system upon those who become involved in it. This is a one-semester course.
Legal Writing – A practical approach to legal writing and legal analysis is used to cultivate the basic tools of lawyering and succeeding as a student. Systems are taught to develop proficiency in issue spotting and analysis. Study methods and test-taking techniques are furnished to enhance the students’ performance. This is a two semester course.
Torts – This course is the study of civil law and civil wrongs – intentional and negligent, and the responsibility for such wrongs. Torts is the foundation for personal injury law. The development of tort law is discussed, as well as the current state of tort law, in order to assist the student in understanding the objectives to be served by the body of tort law and to prepare socially conscious lawyers to represent the victims of torts effectively. This is a two semester course.
Contracts – The course on contracts covers the fundamental aspects of legally enforceable promises including the development of contract law from common law. The material covered provides the basis for the development of skills in legal analysis. The study of contracts includes the bargaining process, interpreting the bargain, performance under a contract, breach of contract, introduction to contract remedies. This is a two semester course.
First Year Law Student Examination
FYLSX aka “Baby Bar”
What’s the deal with the Baby Bar? The Baby Bar is given to students attending unaccredited law schools. Students choose unaccredited law schools for different reasons. These schools tend to have a lower tuition, more flexibility, and in the case of PCL, a philosophy different from traditional law schools. A student’s choice to attend an unaccredited law school is not a reflection of his or her potential to become a good people’s lawyer. All PCL students must take the First Year Law Student Exam (Baby Bar) at the end of their first year, unless exempted by the State Bar. Successful passage of the Baby Bar is intended to demonstrate that a student is ready to move up to the 2nd year. Hundreds of PCL alumni, through their hard work and discipline have passed bar exam and so can you.
The State Bar administers the Baby Bar in June & October of every year. The exam consists of four essay questions to be written in 3½ hours and 100 multiple-choice (multi-state) questions to be answered in 3 hours. The exam only covers the subjects studied in the first year of law school at PCL (Criminal Law, Torts & Contracts).
Second Year Courses*
Civil Procedure…………… 3 Qtrs (2 units per quarter class = 6 units)
Evidence…………………… 3 Qtrs (2 units per quarter class = 6 units)
Property…………………… 3 Qtrs (2 units per quarter class = 6 units)
Total: 18 Units
Third Year Courses*
Constitutional Law……….. 3 Qtrs (2 units per quarter class = 6 Units)
Remedies………………….. 3 Qtrs (2 units per quarter class = 4 Units)
Criminal Procedure……… 1 Qtr (2 units per quarter class = 2 Units)
Professional Resp……….. 1 Qtr (2 units per quarter class = 2 Units)
Corporations……………… 1 Qtr (2 units per quarter class = 2 Units)
Total: 18 Units
Fourth Year Courses *
Wills…………………………. 1 Qtr (2 units per quarter class = 2 Units)
Trusts……………………….. 1 Qtr (2 units per quarter class = 2 Units)
Community Prop…………. 1 Qtr (2 units per quarter class = 2 Units)
Electives…………………… 6 classes (2 units per quarter class = 12 Units)
Total: 18 Units
Grand Total: 72 Units
* These are examples of what a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year may look like.
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