CALIFORNIA WESTERN SCHOOL OF LAW

San Diego, CA   |  www.cwsl.edu

Mission

California Western School of Law is committed to using the law to solve human and societal problems. Our mission is to train ethical, competent and compassionate lawyers, representative of our diverse society, who can use the law effectively and creatively. We recognize that, in the 21st century, the rapid rate of change will accelerate and create further problems. We also recognize the pervasive perception, and partial reality, that the legal system and lawyers have helped to create, rather than solve, the problems our evolving society confronts. While continuing to graduate lawyers well-equipped to practice law, we also seek to graduate creative problem solvers committed to the improvement of our legal system and society.

Ruling year info

1975

President and Dean

Sean M. Scott

Main address

225 Cedar Street

San Diego, CA 92101 USA

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EIN

95-2944594

NTEE code info

Graduate, Professional(Separate Entities) (B50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

California Innocence Project

Founded in 1999, the California Innocence Project (CIP) reviews more than 2,000 claims of innocence from California inmates each year. CIP has secured the release of dozens of innocent people who otherwise may have spent the rest of their lives wrongfully incarcerated.

As a clinical program at California Western School of Law, students from the school apply to participate in CIP’s year-long clinic. Selected students work alongside CIP staff attorneys on cases where there is strong evidence of factual innocence. They assist in case investigation and litigation by locating and re-interviewing witnesses, visiting crime scenes, examining new evidence, filing motions, securing experts, and providing support to attorneys during evidentiary hearings and trials.

Since its inception, the California Innocence Project has been involved in changing law and policies in California related to preserving evidence, litigating innocence cases, preventing misidentifications, and compensating exonerees.

About Innocence Work:
More than 60 innocence organizations have been established in the U.S. and worldwide and have freed hundreds of innocent people since the 1990s. Organizations are located in Ohio, Washington, Florida, Arizona, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Holland and elsewhere.

Litigating an Innocence Case:
If strong evidence of innocence exists, we ask the court to reopen the case through an evidentiary hearing. If the court decides that we have provided enough evidence of innocence, the client is exonerated.

Causes of Wrongful Convictions:
There are nearly 2,000 documented cases of wrongful convictions in the U.S. The leading causes of wrongful convictions are bad identifications, false confessions, false informant testimony, official misconduct, and ineffective assistance of counsel.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Incarcerated people

The Community Law Project (CLP) provides free legal information in a variety of practice areas to low income and indigent communities in each of its four clinics spread throughout San Diego County.

The Community Law Project welcomes California Western law student volunteers and attorney volunteers. Law students work one-on-one with clients and volunteer attorneys in a variety of legal areas, according to their interests. This unique opportunity allows volunteer law students to experience the benefits of helping those in need while learning essential lawyering skills from experienced practitioners.

Criminal Law
Bankruptcy Law
Trusts & Estates Law
Personal Injury Law
Housing and Landlord/Tenant Law
Employment Law
Family Law
Public Benefits Law
Immigration Law
Consumer Law
Tax Law

CLP also provides periodic workshops and presentations on topics of interest. Attorneys are frequently available for personal consultation following the workshops and presentations.

Law students who volunteer with CLP can deepen their understanding of public interest work and debrief their live client experiences through a classroom component taught by CLP's Executive Director, Dana Sisitsky, and Supervising Attorney Ted Janowsky.

Population(s) Served
Social and economic status
Ethnic and racial groups

New Media Rights is an independently-funded program of California Western School of Law that provides direct legal services to creators, entrepreneurs, journalists, and internet users whose projects require specialized internet, intellectual property, privacy, and media law expertise.

Under supervision of experienced attorneys, students provide services to clients through our transactional Intellectual Property clinic. Students learn critical legal skills such as complex intellectual property analysis, contract drafting, privacy compliance, and policy analysis skills. Interns also have had the opportunity to give presentations to local community groups and at conferences.

We are known for our work against content bullying. In addition, we turn what we learn into hundreds of freely available video and written legal education guides for creators and consumers. We've participated in regulatory proceedings at the Copyright Office, the FCC, and the California Public Utilities Commission, including Net Neutrality, DMCA Anti-circumvention proceedings, Copyright Reform, and the Copyright small claims court proceedings.

When we're not helping individuals, we focus on assisting organizations that provide better access to public information, more business and government accountability, or new perspectives to the cultural landscape through the use of new technologies.

Population(s) Served
Artists and performers
Self-employed people

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Financials

CALIFORNIA WESTERN SCHOOL OF LAW
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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CALIFORNIA WESTERN SCHOOL OF LAW

Board of directors
as of 3/18/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Michael Whitton

Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP

Term: 2020 -

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data