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A Message from the Director

A headshot of Dean Chalak Richards taken outdoors

A message from Jeffrey R. Baker, Assistant Dean of Clinical Education and Global Programs

2020 is an extraordinary year, a traumatic inflection point that has presented astonishing and unexpected challenges to everyone. The Legal Clinics at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law have risen to those challenges with vision, discipline, creativity, and patience to continue excellent teaching for our students and critical work for our clients.

Our nine clinics, two practicums, and extensive externship program have adapted, taking lessons that we learned from the Woolsey Fire and other interruptions, to advance and expand our work even during the pandemic. Our clinics practice across vast Los Angeles County in widely diverse practice areas among those in the greatest need and at the forefront of our most pressing issues. In a season of profound crisis, our students and faculty are doing remarkable work.  



Updates from the Clinics

Brittany otter head shot

Legal Aid

The clinic is excited to partner with Los Angeles City Attorney's HEART (Homeless Engagement and Response Team) in an effort to virtually connect people experiencing homelessness with critical legal services that can no longer be easily accessed on the ground.

Jeff baker head shot

Community Justice

The Community Justice Clinic continued its legal services to nonprofits, NGOs, and community organizations devoted to human rights, economic development, social justice, and conservation in the US and abroad.

Clinic Director Curt Cutting head shot

Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy

The students in the Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic had to make some quick adjustments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tanya Cooper head shot

Restoration and Justice

Since the pandemic hit, domestic violence and human trafficking surged in L.A. Since March 2020, the Restoration and Justice Clinic adapted to help survivors remotely.

Isaiah Cortez head shot

Low Income Taxpayer

During quarantine our students have litigated cases, represented clients before various IRS agents, handled audits and exams, helped clients with collection issues and helped clients get tax compliant.

Sara Nissel head shot

Faith and Family Mediation

Students are currently involved in 6 active divorce mediations and are working hands-on, directly with clients.

Stephanie Blondell head shot

Mediation Law 

The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law through the Mediation Clinic has collaborated with the City of Santa Monica to provide mediation for landlords and tenants.

Sam Wu head shot

Startup Law

The students at the Startup Law Clinic continue to serve and represent entrepreneurs of technology startups with corporate formation, founders' stock issuances and capitalization, corporate governance, tech transactions, early stage angel investor financings and venture capital transactions.



Malibu Pier with a seagull in the foreground

The Externship Program has continued without significant interruption during the pandemic. Students and their placements have been flexible with the online environment; 40% of students enrolled in the Fall 2020 program are working remotely with their placements. Students have continued to find diverse placements in government, judicial, private firms, pro bono legal organizations and in-house counsel. Enrollment in the program has remained consistent with 2019. Enrollment in externship workshops has increased by over 50% with the online environment allowing greater flexibility and access to students who previously may have had to travel back and forth between campus and their field placements.

Professor Sophia Hamilton directs the Externship Program.

For more information, visit: https://law.pepperdine.edu/experiential-learning/clinical-education/externships/


a building in London with a golden statue in front

During the pandemic, Pepperdine postponed its international programs, including the Caruso School of Law's London Program. During regular fall terms, CSOL law students study abroad at Pepperdine's London House and engage in world-class externships in law practice in the United Kingdom. This year, the London Program's faculty and staff took the opportunity to evaluate the program and deepen its relationships with field placements and faculty. Some British faculty taught online courses for students in the US, and Assistant Dean Baker engaged remotely with students and lawyers at the Middle Temple Inn, our partner in British and US moot court exchanges.

For more information, visit: https://law.pepperdine.edu/experiential-learning/global-programs/london/courses-and-events.htm

the Caruso school of law building entrance

Faculty Spotlights


Clinical Programs and Events