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FAQ

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about California law schools.

Juris Doctor Program

Is Empire College School of Law a full-time law school?
Empire College's Juris Doctor program is a part-time, four-year evening program. Classes are held Monday through Thursday, usually from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. First-year classes are four nights a week, generally Monday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Thereafter, students attend classes an average of three nights per week.

What degree do students obtain upon graduation?
A Juris Doctor (J.D.). In order to practice law in California, one must pass the California Bar Examination.

What are the qualifications of Empire's instructors?
Empire's instructors are practicing attorneys or judges from the North Bay area. All of the instructors teach in their area of practice/specialty.

How long is the school year?
There are three semesters (fall, spring and summer), each 15 weeks in length.

What is the typical course load for a law student?
You can view a sample class schedule here.
 

Master of Legal Studies Program

Is the Master of Legal Studies a full-time program?
Empire College's Master of Legal Studies program is a part-time, two-year evening program. Classes are held Monday through Thursday, usually from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. First-year classes are four nights a week, generally Monday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Thereafter, students attend classes an average of three nights per week.

What degree do students obtain upon graduation?
A Master of Legal Studies degree.

What are the qualifications of Empire's instructors?
Empire's instructors are practicing attorneys or judges from the North Bay area. All of the instructors teach in their area of practice/specialty.

How long is the school year?
There are three semesters (fall, spring and summer), each 15 weeks in length.

What is the typical course load?
You can view a sample class schedule here.
  

Campus-Related

I am interested in seeing the campus; can I schedule a tour?
Yes, please contact us today to set up a time that works best for you.

Is visiting the campus recommended over requesting a brochure in the mail?
By visiting the campus, you will get a chance to see and feel what an education at Empire College School of Law is all about. Choosing a law school is a long-term commitment, and you will want to base your decision on complete, first-hand information.

Does the campus have wireless Internet access?
Yes, Empire College is wireless.

Where should I purchase my textbooks and other supplies?
For the convenience of students and faculty, the College operates a bookstore that stocks texts and supplies needed for study at the College.

Will I be able to get everything required for my courses at the bookstore?
The bookstore stocks required texts and supplies, as well as supplemental instructional aides and collegiate apparel.

What are the parking regulations?
Parking space at the College is ample. While a small portion of parking spaces are reserved for visitors, disabled individuals and employees, the remainder are available to students on an unassigned basis. There are no additional fees for parking.
 

Admissions

What is the cost to attend Empire College School of Law?
The cost is $670.00 per unit. Students enroll for 23 units the first year, with a total of 86 units needed for graduation from the Juris Doctor program and 36 units required for graduation from the Master of Legal Studies program.

How does one apply for law school?
Contact the School of Law Admissions Office for complete information.

How should I apply to the School of Law?
It is recommended that applicants meet with an admissions officer prior to their intended entrance date in order to begin the admissions process.

What happens after I submit my application to the law school?
Once you submit your application and all other required documents, a meeting with the Dean will be scheduled.

Are counseling services available for law students?
Yes. You can visit our student services page for additional information.

What is the application deadline for the School of Law?
Applications are taken throughout the year for introductory classes starting in January, March, June, August/September, and November.

What items are required to submit with my application?
Applicants must obtain and furnish the following prior to admission:

  • Completed Application
  • $50 Application Fee
  • Statement of Intent
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Transcript request(s)

Are there classes I should take during my undergraduate studies that can help me in law school?
No particular pre-law curriculum is required; however, certain courses may be helpful. Classes in English composition, history, sociology, and political science are all suitable. The student should concentrate on courses that are intellectually challenging and include reading and writing, as opposed to vocationally oriented courses.

Is financial aid available?
Private educational loans are available. Monthly payment schedules may usually be arranged with the student. In addition, federal financial aid is available for students in the Master of Legal Studies program.

LSAT

When must the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) be taken?
Regular students in the Juris Doctor program must take the LSAT within four months of the first day of classes. Special students must take the LSAT prior to admission. Applicants to the Master of Legal Studies program are encouraged to take the LSAT, but it is not required for admission to the program.

When is the best time to take the LSAT?
Students who hold Bachelor’s degrees must take the LSAT within four months of their first day of classes at Empire College School of Law. The examination is usually administered in February, June, October and December. Empire College is a test center.

Where can I find LSAT information?
For applications, LSAT registration packet, information about the test and information regarding the location of other testing centers, please contact the Admissions Department of Empire College School of Law.

How does Empire College weigh LSAT scores?
The LSAT score is used as a counseling guide, not the sole criteria for admission. Consideration is given to life experience, educational background, career history and other accomplishments.

What prior education is required and/or recommended before applying to law school?
All applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the necessary requirements for a B.A. or comparable degree prior to seeking admission. No particular pre-law curriculum is required; however, certain courses may be helpful. Classes in English composition, history, sociology and political science are all suitable. The student should concentrate on courses that are intellectually challenging and include reading and writing, as opposed to vocationally oriented courses.

Applicants to the Master of Legal Studies program must have a Bachelor's degree.

Do I need a degree in order to apply for the Juris Doctor program?
An applicant holding a Bachelor’s degree from a qualified institution may be admitted as a Regular Student. An applicant not holding a Bachelor’s degree from a qualified institution may be admitted as a Regular Student if either of the following are met:

  1. The applicant has earned an Associate in Arts degree or an Associate in Science degree from a qualified institution in California. The Specialized (Occupational) Associate degree, Associate of Applied Science degree and other Associate-level degrees that are vocationally oriented do not satisfy this subsection; or
  2. The studies completed prior to admission constituted not less than one-half the total acceptable for a Bachelor’s degree at a qualified institution, and

a)    at least 90 percent of the total credits necessary to satisfy the requirements of this subsection were in courses with academic, non-vocational and non-occupational content satisfactorily completed at a qualified institution, and
b)    the applicant’s grade point average on all subjects undertaken was at least equal to that required for graduation from the institution attended, and
c)    the applicant’s grade point average on all courses with substantive content was at least equal to that required for graduation from the institution attended.

Students who have not qualified as a Regular Student may apply for admission as a Special Student and are required to take the LSAT prior to admission with a score in the 50th percentile or better.

General

What is Empire's pass rate on the California Bar?
Since opening in 1973, approximately 76 percent of Empire School of Law graduates who have taken the California Bar Exam have passed. Over the last five years, Empire School of Law has consistently achieved one of the highest pass rates for California accredited law schools, including being ranked second in the state on the February 2004 exam.

Is Empire College School of Law accredited?
Empire College School of Law is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California. The Master of Legal Studies program is approved by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, a national accediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, and has the Committee of Bar Examiners' acquiescence.

What is the history of the School of Law?
Visit our history page to learn more about Empire College School of Law.

Will I be assigned a school email address?
A student email account will be created for you during your first week of school.

What opportunities are there in Sonoma County for Empire School of Law graduates?
Approximately 25 percent of the Sonoma County Bar are Empire alumni. Our Juris Doctor graduates have an excellent reputation for success and include members of the judiciary in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Merced counties.

What opportunities are there for Empire Juris Doctor graduates to practice law outside of California?
While the majority of our graduates practice law in California, some graduates of Empire School of Law are practicing law in other states. Each state has its own standards for admitting attorneys. Study at, or graduation from, this law school may not qualify a student to take the bar examination or be admitted to practice law in jurisdictions other than California. A student who intends to seek admission to practice outside of California should contact the admitting authority in that jurisdiction for information regarding its education and admission requirements.

How are "Regular" and "Special" students defined?
Regular students are defined as those having a four-year degree, OR an A.A./A.S. degree, OR 60 semester or 90 quarter units of undergraduate studies acceptable toward a B.A. degree. Special students are defined as those having less than 60 semester or 90 quarter units of undergraduate studies acceptable toward a B.A. degree. These designations are applicable to the Juris Doctor program only.

Contact us for more information.