Stanford Law School

Infobox Law School

name = Stanford Law School
established = 1893
type = Private
endowment =
parent endowment = $17.2 Billion
head = Larry Kramer
city = Stanford
state = California
country = USA
students = 534 [ Stanford Law School Official ABA Data] ]
faculty = 134
ranking = 2 [ [ Law - Best Graduate Schools - Education - US News and World Report] ]
bar pass rate = 95% [ [ General Statistics Report July 2007 California Bar Examination] ]
annual tuition = $39,916
homepage = []
aba profile = [ Stanford Law School Profile]

Stanford Law School is a graduate school at Stanford University located near Palo Alto, California, United States, in Silicon Valley. The Law School was established in 1893 when former President Benjamin Harrison joined the faculty as the first professor of law. It employs about 50 faculty and hosts over 500 students who are working towards their Juris Doctor.

Stanford Law School is one of the most prestigious and elite law schools in the United States, typically ranking in the top three in the "US News & World Report" annual rankings of law schools and currently ranked second.

The late Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist and former Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor are both Stanford alumni, as is Chief Justice of California Ronald M. George.


Stanford first offered a curriculum in legal studies in 1893, when the university hired its first two law professors: former President Benjamin Harrison, and Nathan Abbott. Abbott was given control over the program, and assembled a small faculty over the next few years. The law department was almost exclusively composed of undergraduates at this time, and included a large number of students who might not have been welcome at more traditional law schools at the time, including women and Hispanic, Chinese and Japanese students.

In 1900, the department moved from its original location in Encina Hall to the northeast side of the Inner Quadrangle. The new facilities were much larger and included Stanford’s first law library. Beginning to focus more on professional training, the school implemented its first three year cirriculum, and became one of 27 charter members of the Association of American Law Schools. In 1901 the school awarded its first professional degree.

Starting in 1908, the law department began its transition into an exclusively professional school when Stanford's Board of Trustees passed a resolution in 1908 to officially change its name to law school. Eight years later Frederic Campbell Woodward would be appointed the first dean of the school, and in 1923 the school was accredited by the American Bar Association, the year the ABA began certifying law schools. Stanford's law program officially transitioned into a modern professional school in 1924 when it began requiring a bachelor's degree for admission.

The 1940s and 1950s brought a great deal of change for the law school. Even though World War II caused the school’s enrollment to drop to less than 30 students, the school made quick efforts at expansion once the war ended in 1945. Moving to a new location in the Outer Quadrangle and the opening of the law school dormitory Crothers Hall allowed the school to grow, while the publication of the Stanford Law Review started building the school a national reputation. The decision that Stanford should remain a small law school with a very limited enrollment was made during this period.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the law school aimed to become more diverse. A great deal of new and progressive student organizations established themselves, several of which focused on legal issues which largely affected Chicanos and women. The first female and black professors were hired at the school during this period, and the school sought to academically diversify its student body by collaborating with the Stanford Business School to create a joint-degree program. For the third time in its history, the law school relocated in the 1970s to its current location in the Crown Quadrangle. Earning national recognition in the 1980s and 1990s, the law school made efforts to make its cirriculum more progressive. Classes were offered focusing on law relating to technology, the environment, and intellectual property, and international law, allowing to students to specialize in emerging legal fields. Additionally, the school’s clinical program was established starting with the public interest East Palo Alto Community Law Project. By the dawn of the 21st century, the law school had created many new opportunities for its students to specialize and get involved in community projects. Over the past few years, a new focus on inderdisciplinary education has emerged. [ [ History of Stanford Law School] ]

Academics and admissions

Stanford Law School has a small student body, and a very low student to faculty ratio. Class sizes are among the smallest of any top law school, with first-year classes of approximately 170 students. []

The academic program is flexible and includes a diverse array of courses and clinics. As first years, students take courses in criminal law, civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, torts, property, and legal research and writing. Upper level courses range from business law to international law and include a growing clinical program. The Supreme Court Clinic has successfully brought over twenty cases before the Court, making it one of the most active Supreme Court practices of any kind. [] Because of its proximity to other top academic programs on campus, there has been a growing focus on joint degree programs and classes with other professional schools, such as business, medicine, and education.

Students run about thirty student organizations and publish seven legal journals. The most influential journal is the Stanford Law Review. Advocacy skills are tested in the Kirkwood Moot Court competition.

Robert Crown Law Library at Stanford holds 500,000 books, 360,000 microform and audiovisual items, and more than 8,000 current serial subscriptions.

Between 4,000 and 5,000 students apply for admission each year. Selection is intense: the median undergraduate grade point average of students is around 3.9 and the median LSAT 170. [] Beyond numbers, Stanford places considerable emphasis on factors such as extracurricular activities, work experience, and prior graduate study. About three quarters of the members of each entering class have one year or more of prior work experience - often in politics, nonprofits, teaching, banking, or consulting - and over a quarter have completed another graduate degree. In 2006, Stanford Law School's acceptance rate was 8.7%, one of the lowest in the nation. [] The Law School also accepts a small number of transfers each year.

Stanford Law School adopted a reformed grading system that no longer utilizes traditional letter grades in August of 2008, joining Yale Law School, the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and starting in 2009, Harvard Law School. Students now receive one of four grades: honors, pass, restricted credit or no credit, instead of the traditional A+ to F grades. []

Programs and centers

*Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program (ENRLP)
*Rule of Law Program
*Stanford Program in International Law
*Stanford Program in Law, Economics & Business
*John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics
*Stanford Program in Law, Science & Technology (LST)
*Martin Daniel Gould Center for Conflict Resolution Programs

*Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance
*Center for E-Commerce
* [ Center for Internet and Society (CIS)]
*Center for Law and the Biosciences
*Gould Negotiation and Mediation Teaching Program
*Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation (SCICN)
*Stanford Criminal Justice Center
*Stanford Center for Computers and the Law (CodeX)
*Stanford Law Review

Notable alumni

The Law School has a distinguished history of producing leaders in the judiciary, academia, corporate law, finance, government, and the public interest. Upon graduation, most students join law firms or clerk for a judge. About 25% of each graduating class clerks. [] Stanford alumni practice in 50 countries and 49 states, and are partners at 94 of the 100 largest law firms in the United States. [] Despite its small size, recently, Stanford has produced the third most professors of law in the country [] and the fourth most clerks to the Supreme Court. []

*Michael Arrington (1995), Internet journalist and entrepreneur
*Carlos Bea (1958), Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
*Xavier Becerra (1984), U.S. Congressman (1984–present)
*Riley Bechtel (1977), billionaire, Chairman and CEO, Bechtel Group
*Jeff Bingaman (1968), U.S. Senator (1983–present)
*Joshua B. Bolten (1980), White House Chief of Staff (2006–present)
*Raymond Bonner (1967), investigative reporter for the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune
*Brooksley Born, first woman named to the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary
*Amanda Brown, author of Legally Blonde
*Mark Chandler (1981), Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Cisco Systems
*Warren Christopher (1949), U.S. Secretary of State (1993–1997)
*Frank Church (1950), U.S. Senator (1957–1981)
*Robert Cochran (1974), creator of the television shows "24" and "La Femme Nikita"
*Daniel Cooperman (1976), Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Apple Corporation
*Dorian Daley (1986), Vice President and General Counsel of Oracle Corporation
*David C. Drummond (1985), Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer of Google
*William Donlon Edwards (1939), U.S. Congressman (1963–1995)
*John Ehrlichman (1951), infamous figure in the Watergate scandal
*Scott Fedewa (1995), dot-com entrepreneur and author
*Raymond C. Fisher (1966), Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
*Ronald M. George (1964), Chief Justice of California (1996–present)
*Matt Gonzalez (1990), first Green Party candidate elected to local office, garnered 47% of votes for mayor of San Francisco
*Roderick Hills (1955), former chairman of the SEC (1975-1977) and founder of Munger, Tolles & Olson
*Shirley Hufstedler (1949), first United States Secretary of Education (1979–1981), Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (1968–1979)
*Procter R. Hug, Jr. (1958), Judge and former Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
*Michael Jacobson (1981), Senior Vice President and General Counsel, eBay Inc.
*Michael Klarman (1983), Constitutional Law scholar and law professor at the University of Virginia School of Law
*David Lempert (1985, JD/MBA), Legal Anthropology scholar and democratic education specialist and legal development and rights practitioner, Founder of Unseen America Projects, Inc. and the Diaspora Bridge Center
*John S. W. Lim (1983), Judge, Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals (1999–2006) []
*Rebecca Love Kourlis (1976), Executive Director at the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System
*Dahlia Lithwick (1995), Senior Editor at "Slate"
*Carlos R. Moreno (1975), Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California (2001–present)
*Dorothy Wright Nelson (1953), Senior Judge in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
*William Neukom (1967), first General Counsel at Microsoft, current president of the American Bar Association
*Ronald Kenneth Noble, Secretary General of Interpol and law professor
*William Albert Norris (1954), Judge in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
*Sandra Day O'Connor (1952), first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1981–2006; retired)
*Mark Oldman, co-founder of and wine critic
*Penny Pritzker (1984), billionaire, CEO of Pritzker Realty
*William Rehnquist (1952), Chief Justice of the United States (1986–2005)
*Jeffrey Reuben III, Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and former Chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission
*Sally Ann Rocker (1987), Managing Director at JC Flowers.
*Anthony Romero (1990), Executive Director of the ACLU (2001–present)
*Pamela Ann Rymer (1967), Judge in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
*Sian Seerpoohi Elias, chief justice of New Zealand
*Peter Thiel (1992), founder of Paypal
*John D. Trasviña (1983), President of MALDEF
*John Van de Kamp (1959), Attorney General of California (1982–1991)
*Kent Walker (1987), Vice President & General Counsel of Google
*J. Clifford Wallace (1949), Senior Judge in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
*Bill Walton (never graduated), former NBA basketball player
*Carlos Watson (1995), television host
*Katharine Weymouth (1992), publisher of the Washington Post
*Dennis Woodside (1980), Vice President, UK, Benelux and Ireland of Google

Notable faculty

When assessed by academic peers, the law faculty is ranked one of the three most accomplished in the country. [ [ Welcome to Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings ] ] In 2006, the National Law Journal included six Stanford faculty - professors Jeffrey Fisher, Joseph Grundfest, Mark Lemley, Lawrence Lessig, Kathleen Sullivan, and lecturer Thomas Goldstein - on its list of the 100 most influential lawyers in the country. [ [ Profiles in Power ] ] ]
* [ Barbara Babcock] -- civil procedure
* [ Joe Bankman] -- reformer of California tax law
*Gerhard Casper -- former president of Stanford University
*Joshua Cohen -- political philosophy
* [ Jeffrey Fisher] -- appellate litigation
* [ Mariano-Florentino ("Tino") Cuellar] -- regulatory policy, legislation, international security, criminal law, migration and refugees; former U.S. Treasury official
* [ Marc Franklin] -- media law
* [ Lawrence Friedman] -- legal history
* [ Paul Goldstein] -- international intellectual property; copyright; trademark; author of best selling novel
*Jennifer Granick -- intellectual property and First Amendment scholar and practitioner
*Henry T. "Hank" Greely -- leading bioethicist.
*Joseph Grundfest -- former chair of the SEC
* Thomas Heller -- leading international trade and tax specialist
*Pamela S. Karlan -- anti-discrimination; voting rights; appellate litigation
* [ Larry Kramer] -- current dean; constitutional law; conflict of laws
*Lawrence Lessig -- constitutional law; cyberlaw
* [ Mark Lemley] -- patent law
* [ Larry Marshall] -- public interest advocate instrumental in convincing the governor of Illinois to place a moratorium on executions
*Jennifer Martínez -- represented Jose Padilla before the Supreme Court
* [ Robert Rabin] -- torts
* [ Deborah Rhode] -- legal ethics
*Kathleen Sullivan -- former dean; constitutional law
* [ Alan Sykes] -- international law & economics
* [ Allen Weiner] -- international law
*Robert Weisberg -- criminal law

Popular culture

*The creator of the television show "24" is a Stanford Law graduate.
*Although the movie "Legally Blonde" was filmed as though it were about Harvard Law School, it was based on the writings of former student Amanda Brown about her experiences at Stanford Law.
*Arnold Vinick, the fictional Republican candidate for President of the United States in the final season of "The West Wing" was a Stanford Law graduate.
*The school has been mentioned in several movies, such as "The Devil Wears Prada" and to rather comic effect in "Ace Ventura." Additionally, the eponymous character Greg of "Dharma & Greg" was an alumnus of Stanford Law School.
*In the movie "Beaches", the character of Hillary goes on to study law at Stanford Law School as is her family's tradition and becomes a human rights lawyer.
*In the movie "Die Hard", villain Hans Gruber reads the educational history of CEO Joseph Takagi aloud when searching for him in a crowd of hostages. He is described as a graduate of the University of California, Harvard Business School, and Stanford Law School.
*Eli Stone (from the legal comedy-drama by the same name) is a Stanford Law graduate.


External links

* [ Stanford Law School Official website]
* [ "US News & World Report" Stanford Law School profile]
* [ Stanford Law Review]
* [ Stanford Law & Policy Review]

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