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About Pepperdine School of Law

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History

Pepperdine University School of Law began as the Orange University College of Law in Santa Ana, California, in 1964. The school was acquired by Pepperdine in 1969. By 1975, the Pepperdine's School of Law had received its full ABA approval and full State Bar Accreditation. In 1978, the school moved to Pepperdine's 830-acre campus, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California.

To contact the American Bar Association:
Council of the Section of Legal Education and
Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association
321 N. Clark St.
Chicago, Illinois 60610-4714
(312) 988-6738
Fax: (312) 988-5681

Timeline

1970 - Pepperdine's School of Law operates out of storefront building in Santa Ana, California. The school earns the State Bar of California provisional accreditation and has its first full-time day class of 34 students. The first full-time faculty member is Professor Wadieh Shibley, and the first full-time dean is Ronald F. Phillips.

1971 - Professors Charles Nelson and James McGoldrick join the faculty.

1972 - Pepperdine earns its provisional ABA approval received and establishes the Pepperdine Law Review. Barbara McDonald is the journal's first editor-in-chief.

1973 - The law school relocates to a larger facility in Anaheim, California. Professor Frederick I. Moreau serves as the first Distinguished Visiting Professor.

1974 - Student Gayle Posner serves as a special intern to United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger.

1975 - Pepperdine receives its full ABA approval received and full State Bar Accreditation.

1976 - United States Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun speaks at the law school commencement.

1977 - Pepperdine's hold its first moot court dinner, which eventually became the Annual Law School Dinner

1978 - The law school moves to Pepperdine's 830-acre campus, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California. United States Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist delivers the dedication address for the Odell McConnell Law Center.

1980 - Pepperdine establishes a semester abroad program in London, England. Pepperdine's is the second such program by an American law school. Pepperdine gains AALS membership, and United States Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun presides over the Dalsimer Competition and speaks at the annual dinner.

1981 - Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls, presides over a moot between British and Pepperdine students at Gray's Inn in London.

1982 - Pepperdine establishes the school's Board of Visitors.

1984 - Student Bill Henslee serves as chair of the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association. Terry Giles establishes the first scholarship funded by an alumnus

1985 - United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor presides over Dalsimer Competition and speaks at the annual dinner.

1986 - Pepperdine becomes the first in the southwest to establish the Institute for Dispute Resolution. Pepperdine initiates an extensive merit scholarship program, and United States Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist teaches a summer class in constitutional law.

1987 - United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at the Odell McConnell Law Center.

1988 - Pepperdine establishes an ethnic diversity scholarship program. Student Chris Olsen is named Outstanding Oral Advocate at the National ABA Appellate Advocacy Competition.

1989 - Students Kim Carlton and Cheryl Bond become National Moot Court Champions in the ABA Appellate Advocacy Competition.

1990 - United States Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White presides over the Dalsimer Competition and speaks at the annual dinner. Alumnus Randall Kehl serves as one of the nation's 12 White House Fellows, and United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia teaches a summer course in constitutional law.

1991 - Alumnus Charles Eskridge III serves a judicial clerkship for United States Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White. Ronald R. Helm is named the first Distinguished Alumnus for the School of Law.

1992 - Students Lisa Kanovsky and Daniel Pascucci win Best Team and Best Brief Awards at the National Criminal Procedure Competition.

1993 - Former United States Solicitor General Ken Starr teaches a summer course in constitutional law.

1995 - United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas presides over the Dalsimer Moot Court Competition and speaks at the annual dinner.

1997 - Professor Richardson Lynn is appointed dean of the School of Law.

1998 - Pepperdine's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution is ranked the Number One program in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report.

1999 - The School of Law welcomes Doug Kmiec of Notre Dame, who holds the inaugural Caruso Family Chair in Law.

2004 - Kenneth W. Starr is appointed dean of the School of Law after holding numerous positions of prominence, including Solicitor General of the United States and United States Circuit Judge.

2006 - Professor Ed Larson, who won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in History for his book, Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion, joins the school as the Hugh & Hazel Darling Chair in Law.

2007 - Grant S. Nelson joins the school as the William H. Rehnquist Professor of Law.

2008 - The School of Law attains membership in the prestigious Order of the Coif.

2009 - Thomas J. Stipanowich, professor of law and academic director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution is named the William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution.

2011 - Deanell Reece Tacha, a Scandia, Kansas, native with a distinguished career in the federal judiciary and higher education, begins her post as the fourth Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean in the school's history on June 1.