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Pepperdine Caruso Law Clinical Education Program Receives Top Rankings for 2024-2025

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law’s Clinical Education Program has received top rankings in the 2024-2025 U.S. News & World Report Best Law School rankings and in National Jurist magazine’s ranking of best law schools for practical training. The clinical program was recognized as #23 in the country among the U.S. News specialty rankings of clinical training law programs for all ABA-accredited law schools. The program was ranked #9 in the nation and #1 in California by National Jurist for law schools that are the best for practical training.

Associate dean of clinical education and global programs Jeffrey R. Baker said, “The US News rankings have their problematic issues, but they are important in our world. They are an extrinsic recognition of our work and reputation in the academy. The clinical program rankings are based completely on peer-assessment, the vote of clinical directors at all law schools in the country, so they reflect our reputation and quality among the people who know clinical programs the best.

"And this year, the Pepperdine Caruso Law clinical program rose to #23 in the country, by far our highest ranking ever. We are tied with UCLA as the 3rd highest ranked program in California.

"Further, the National Jurist magazine ranks Practical Training Programs (including clinics, externships, simulation courses, pro bono programs, and the like) with robust objective data, and this year we are #9 in the nation and #1 in California.

"I'm confident that these external markers fairly reflect the real quality, depth, and value of our work here. Our clinical faculty and staff are the essential foundation of this program. They are all brilliant and talented, doing extraordinary work for our students and clients. Their work is at the heart of our enterprise, and they do it with expertise, wisdom, integrity, and love. I'm proud and grateful for the privilege and blessing of practicing law and teaching alongside them at our school.”

The Caruso Law clinical education program provides students with opportunities to practice law, work with clients, learn from expert faculty, and serve communities in need. The clinical programs include the Community Justice Clinic,  Faith and Family Mediation Clinic, Legal Aid Clinic, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, Mediation Clinic, Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic, Religious Liberty Clinic, Restoration and Justice Clinic, and the Startup Law Clinic. Last year, the Legal Aid Clinic commemorated 25 years of providing free legal services to residents of the Union Rescue Mission who are experiencing homelessness. 

The program also includes expansive and intense opportunities for work through the Externship Program and practicum courses. Clinics, externships, and simulation courses are all vital components of the law school's unique 15-unit experiential learning requirement.  

The U.S News specialty program rankings are based on responses from faculty in each specialty area who are asked to rate schools’ programs on a scale of one to five. The complete 2024-2025 U.S. News clinical training rankings may be found at Best Clinical Training Law Programs

The National Jurist identifies law schools that offer the most comprehensive practical training programs and opportunities, focusing on key offerings such as clinics, externships, simulation courses, pro bono hours and moot trial participation. The complete National Jurist practical training program rankings may be found at Best Law Schools for Practical Training and at TaxProf Blog