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P.C.U. School of Law



Pacific Coast University was founded in 1927, before the California State Bar itself was formed. The University originally offered graduate programs in Business and Divinity as well as Law, but the former Schools, as well as an undergraduate college, fell victim to the Great Depression.

The Law School survived not only the vicissitudes of those years but World War II as well, thanks to Dean Carl Manson, who taught all classes while professors were off to war. During the post-war years, Dr. Manson took over direction of the School as Dean, a post he held until his death in 1980. Under his leadership the School operated successfully in the Long Beach area where during approximately three quarters of a century it has graduated hundreds of attorneys who served and still serve the area in private law practice, in public service, and as judges and leaders in the legal community.

Under the continued stewardship of Dean Irv Schleimer, elevated to that post from PCU faculty in 1981, the University continued to meet its goal that the attorneys receiving their legal training here, representing as they do a diversity of ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds, share a common dedication to their chosen profession and the community they serve, morally determined and professionally equipped to advance this process. Dean Schleimer officially retired from PCU in late 1999 and has been succeeded by Dean William J. Lewis, both a graduate of PCU and 18 year faculty member, who continues to maintain the honored and time-tested traditions of the University.

Pacific Coast University law professors are all dedicated local practicing attorneys and judges, and the schools alumni are serve a wide variety of specialties in the Bar and the Bench.

From the beginning, Pacific Coast University opened its doors to everyone. One of the first African-American Superior Court Judges in Southern California, William A. Ross, was a PCU graduate, as was the first woman Superior Court Judge, Kathleen Parker. PCU classes during these years were as representative of the diversity of our community as they are today. During a period when, for example, women made up only 2.7% of the profession as late as 1963, PCU was graduating 30% or more women each year.

Operating as a non-profit school, PCU afforded opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to disadvantaged students. In a sense, all evening law students who work full-time during the day and are busy raising families, are at a disadvantage. However, these hard-working individuals, typically a decade or more older than the average student in major universities, bring to their law studies a wealth of practical experience in the working world and a true appreciation for the opportunity that PCU has opened for them.


Pacific Coast University School of Law, PCU, exists to provide, for working adults in the community, an affordable, quality legal education.

The sole program offered is a traditional curriculum in Law, leading to the Juris Doctor degree and qualifying graduates to take, and pass, the General Bar Examination of California. The four-year course of studies, offered in two schedule options, includes all those subjects covered in the General Bar Examination, along with additional classes such as Legal Research, Writing and Lawyering Skills, Trial Techniques (Moot Court) and Pleading and Practice which are essential for a lawyer just beginning practice.

For most PCU students, the School represents their only opportunity to become attorneys. The individuals they will serve are, like themselves, hard-working people raising families and trying to advance themselves despite limited funds. Many students are also coping with the economic disadvantages faced by minorities and women. For these reasons, Pacific Coast University has always maintained a policy of keeping costs to a minimum.

Most of the School’s newly graduated attorneys enter law practice right in the community, providing service in areas of civil practice such as family law, property disputes and landlord/tenant matters, as well as entering the field of criminal law both as public defenders and as deputy prosecutors.

To ensure a quality legal education, PCU has remained small; limiting classes to 50 students so that instructors, all practicing attorneys and judges in the area, are accessible for questions and discussion. Study groups are also encouraged, in the belief that a cooperative atmosphere is more conductive to learning than unalloyed competition. (The General Bar Examination that all must face provides sufficient incentive of the latter kind.) The School aims to provide an education equal to that in any other institution in the State which prepares students for the Bar.

It is the continuing belief of the University that when opportunities to enter the Law profession are made more generally available, both the individual aspirant and the community as a whole are served. The role of the Law in maintaining and improving social equity cannot be overestimated. Every practitioner makes a contribution to this process, for good or for ill.

It is the goal of PCU that the attorneys receiving their legal training here, representing as they do a diversity of ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds but sharing a common dedication to their chosen profession and the community they will serve, shall begin their work morally determined and professionally equipped to advance this process.


Classes are held at the Ximeno campus just west of Pacific Coast Highway. Classes are kept small, and the Socratic method of instruction is followed, using lecture/discussion including student briefing of cases as part of each class session, with ample opportunity for interchange between professor and student. Class size is limited to 50 students.


The Pacific Coast University, School of Law, accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California.


“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 law outside of California should contact the admitting authority in that jurisdiction for information regarding its education and admission requirements.”


Pacific Coast University, school of Law’s bar examination passing rate can be found at: www.calbar.ca.gov/admissions.


The University reserves the right to change requirements for admission or graduation announced on this website, and to change the curriculum, class schedule, credit or content of courses, books used, fees charged and regulations affecting students at any time, should it be deemed necessary in the interest of the student or the academic objectives of the University. The information on this website is not to be regarded as creating a binding contract between the student and the University.


Pacific Coast University (PCU) has a vital mission to accomplish for the people of the State of California – one that cannot be accomplished without the talent, dedication and skill of the men and women who teach and learn about the law. Each of us who participate in the educational program at PCU bears a fundamental obligation to ensure that our coworkers and students are given the respectful, supportive environment that allows them to do their best.

Our commitment to equal employment and educational opportunity is the cornerstone of that effort. When any student, professor or staff member is denied equal opportunity on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, disability, or sexual orientation, the work of this institution suffers. Opportunities for achievement are lost, and the ability of students, professors and staff members to reach their full potential is jeopardized.

It is our strict obligation to eliminate all barriers to equal opportunity for students, professors and staff members of PCU.

The President of the United States has emphasized that our goal must be that of a welcoming society – a Nation where no one is dismissed or forgotten. That is our mandate at Pacific Coast University, School of Law, as well. I ask that each of us, as members of the PCU family, join in the work of building an educational institution in which everyone is given the equal opportunity to succeed and contribute.

Requests for further information should be addressed to:
Vice Dean
Pacific Coast University, School of Law
1650 Ximeno Ave., #310
Long Beach, CA 90804
Tel: (562)961-8200


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