A dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law was known to tell prospective students, "If you want to be a decent person and a good lawyer, come here." A legal education from the School of Law intends not only that its students become excellent practitioners of the law, but that they would aspire to epitomize the legal profession in its best practice, as advocates and instruments of peace, care, and service to their clients and to society. Students are instructed and counseled within a context and worldview of Christian values, supported by faculty and administration.
Originally founded in 1964 as the Orange University College of Law located in Santa Ana, and became affiliated with Pepperdine University in 1969.
Distinctive to Pepperdine among law schools is that they put students at the heart of the enterprise. This attitude manifests itself in the law student experience of open-door accessibility to professors, delivery of solid foundational concepts, superior "examsmanship" preparation, useful clinical and legal practice skills, events to interact with the highest practitioners in the profession today, and cultivation of a keen moral and ethical sense in approaching the practice of law.
The law school is home to several special-interest institutes and academic centers that address, through scholarship, seminars and symposia, and practical workshops, how the law does (and should) interact with society and individuals in very specific arenas. The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, repeatedly ranked first of its peers in the nation, trains professionals to be agents of reconciliation; the Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law deals with issues on the role of enterprise and its practitioners in a free society, to name just two.
Today the School of Law enrolls approximately 650 full-time students, offering three degrees: the JD, the LLM in dispute resolution, and the MDR (master of dispute resolution). The school is approved by the American Bar Association and accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners, State Bar of California. Graduates of the School of Law are eligible to apply for admission to practice law in any state.