We believe law school should be affordable, accessible, challenging, inspiring, growth promoting, and community serving.
Congratulations 2020-2023 CA Bar Passers!
Congratulations Judge Schneider!
For excellence in teaching legal jurisprudence to the students of Western Sierra Law School, as of June 12, 2021, the law school's library shall be known as:
the Hon. Robert B. Schneider Law Library
at Western Sierra Law School
Message from the Dean
Dear Prospective Students,
Thank you for expressing interest and exploring the Western Sierra Law School (WSLS) website!
We welcome all who are interested to learn more about the opportunity at WSLS to acquire an accessible, affordable and traditional legal education and to become eligible to sit for the California Bar Exam and earn a license to practice law in the state of California.
Our Juris Doctor (J.D.) Program is offered part time in the evenings, generally twice per week, over four years. The WSLS J.D. Program is designed to provide instruction covering all areas tested on the California Bar Exam. In addition, you will learn how to think like a lawyer, how to organize and manage a legal docket (your assignments), how to make use of resources like law libraries and online databases to become informed in areas of the law, how to carefully craft legal instruments, pleadings, briefs, opinions and other legal documents, and how to conduct yourself in a professional manner before a court and your future clients.
To qualify for the J.D. Progam at WSLS, applicants must have completed two-years of college (or passed the CLEP Exams) and possess a good moral character. A Bachelor's Degree and LSAT score are helpful, but not required.
Admission is not competitive, and we seek to admit all who appear to be qualified to study law. But, this does not mean the program will be easy! All students are required to pass the First Year Law Students' Examination (FYLSE) administered by the State Bar of California, Committee of Bar Examiners within three qualified sittings in order to continue in the J.D. Program (unless exempt), otherwise those who do not pass will be subject to dismissal, but may be re-admitted upon a subsequent passing of the FYLSE.
A career in law can be very rewarding, both financially and professionally. There are many fields of law where future lawyers can enter and thrive.
I still remember my first law school class being a first year student (1L) at WSLS, it was Contracts with Professor Guthrie. I remember being cold-called to provide answers to obscure questions as we practiced the Socratic method. I also remember graduating, taking and passing the California Bar Exam, swearing in as a lawyer, and my first appearance before a judge in the Superior Court of California in San Diego. I can testify, as a former student who is now a practicing attorney and Dean of my alma mater, making use of the opportunity to study law at WSLS and to become a practicing lawyer is one of the best decisions I ever made! Not only have I thrived financially as an attorney, but I have experienced the tears of joy expressed by a client after a successful and long fought proceeding, and there is no greater reward than that.
If you are looking for a change in your life and career, an opportunity to improve your earning potential, and perhaps to satisfy a personal goal you might have had since you were a child, and in particular, if you have a deep passion for law, then I invite you to learn more at WSLS, maybe attend one of our upcoming information sessions, or just dive right in and apply for admission.
I look forward to meeting you soon!
Joshua S. Schoonover, Esq.
Dean of Western Sierra Law School