At Thomas Jefferson School of Law, your success as a law student is our most important priority. Our supportive campus culture and hands-on academic program are set up to help you do just that.
Our world-class faculty is accessible and dedicated to you succeeding in law school. Our curriculum is on the cutting-edge of traditional and emerging areas of law. And, our student body is diverse – culturally and geographically.
Visit our JD Programs page to see our rich variety of academic programs, including Clinical Programs, the Legal Writing Program, the Criminal Law, Intellectual Property and the Sports Law and Policy Fellowships, our Academic Specialties, the JD-MBA degree and Study Abroad programs.
The versatility of a J.D. degree has opened the door to a wide spectrum of interesting and satisfying employment opportunities for our more than 7,000 alumni. They live and work both internationally and nationally, using the quality education they received at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in both the public and private sectors. They are at leading law firms, corporations and non-profits. They are judges, elected officials, sole practitioners and business owners. We are proud to shine a spotlight on some of TJSL’s alumni and students whose career paths are representative of the many exciting employment options to which a law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law can lead.
Eric Bernsen ‘12
“My class was told that if you want to be anonymous, this isn’t your school. Law school is tough enough as it is – it’s even harder when you are forced to struggle and figure it out on your own. Thomas Jefferson students don’t have to blindly walk that line; I sure didn’t. The faculty is accessible and the students and alumni have always been willing to help me when I needed it. I figured doing my part for the school and students is my way of saying thanks.”
P. Camille Guerra ‘04
“I enjoy staying connected to TJSL through various events and organizations. During the two years I was on the alumni board, my favorite events involved helping to put together and volunteering for clothing drives, Rady Children’s Celebration of Champions, and a Halloween party for children at St. Vincent de Paul’s. Giving back to TJSL involves participating in these amazing events! Through TJSL I met people who have impacted my life in such positive ways that I feel compelled to do my best to give back. The professors, administrators and staff are proud of the school and make every effort to see that the students succeed. Professor Slomanson, in particular, made it possible for me to study in Kosovo during the summer of 2003. This opportunity has led to meeting life long friends who I’ve visited a couple times since studying in the Balkans. For reasons like this, I stay connected and give back to TJSL! Additionally, giving back to the school means working with some incredible grads and alumni staff that motivate you to do more!”
Reza Torkzadeh ‘05
“TJSL provided me not only with the foundation and tools necessary to succeed in today's challenging legal world, but also gave me the opportunity to develop and build relationships with leaders outside the classroom. The faculty and staff at TJSL couldn't have been more supportive of my many endeavours during law school and I will forever be indebted to them. Each day, I draw on my experiences at TJSL and the knowledge I gained while completing the program. The depth and breath of courses allowed me to learn areas of the law that I never would have considered. Most importantly the dedication of the faculty to teach went beyond what one would expect.”
W. Scott Noel ‘01
“The education I received from TJSL prepared me for my career in litigation. Professor Golden’s Contracts and Remedies classes as well as Professor Cohen’s evidence were invaluable in helping me to succeed in my field.”
Anna Romanskaya ‘07
“One of the best aspects of TJSL is the supportive environment for student involvement and participation. The staff and faculty are open to student input, whether it’s about the course curriculum, networking opportunities or employment prospects. In my tenure as a student, I had the privilege of serving as the Public Interest Law Foundation president for two years and also representing TJSL on the ABA level as a Lieutenant Governor and an ABA Representative of the SBA. My student leadership involvement gave me a chance to know the staff and faculty on a personal level and build lasting relationship, which continue this day.
I left TJSL with not just the skill of 'thinking like a lawyer' and understanding how to decipher a case, but with a sense of confidence in myself as a member of the legal community, with a strong voice and support system behind me. I stay involved really to give back and to encourage the current students the way I was encouraged during my tenure to become involved, make connections and not get discouraged. I am proud to be an alumnus of TJSL and take part in the school’s continuing growth. I believe TJSL grads are a powerful force to be reckoned with and it is because we continue supporting each other, during school and in the profession.”
Renee Galente ‘08
“I am so grateful to TJSL for taking a chance on me. TJ gave me the foundation, skills and support I needed to pass the bar. Without TJ, I would not be able to do what I love every single day. With my law degree, I’m unstoppable.”
Jill Cremeans ‘05
“In 2002, I moved from Athens, Ohio to San Diego to attend TJSL. Ten years later, I am still happily living in San Diego, married to a TJSL grad and recently gave birth to my first child. I consider many from the TJSL community as close friends. TJSL has provided me with the foundation to meet the challenges faced daily in the legal world. I often look back at my days at TJSL, surrounded by such brilliant professors, and eager students, and I am thankful that I was able to have such a positive law school experience. Now that I am a participant in the solo practitioner (incubator) program, TJSL is further helping me pave my way into solo practice. I feel fortunate to have graduated from a school that cares so much for its students.”
Steven R. Kellman ‘80
“In 1977, I took a chance with a relatively new law school then known as 'Western State University.' It was located in a small building downtown which we affectionately called 'The Harvard of the harbor.' Of course it has grown into a significant legal educational institution now known as Thomas Jefferson School of Law. This school also took a chance with me not knowing if I was going to be a serious student and pursue a career that both the school and I could be proud of. We both won that gamble and for that I am grateful. TJSL promised me nothing but a solid education and it delivered. The school also taught me that the measure of your accomplishments comes not only from receiving the diploma, but by what you do with that quality legal education. Starting my legal career in private practice allowed me to prove my worth assisting clients seeking justice, affecting the course of the law and volunteering for community groups who could benefit from my experience and guidance. I have worked very hard in furtherance of these goals through the years and I am proud of the assistance I have provided to my clients and to the community. I hope other graduates of TJSL will follow the mission to advance just causes and endeavors with their education and make a real difference to those whose lives they have touched.”
Hallie L. Tremaine ‘10
“I feel very fortunate to be a graduate of Thomas Jefferson School of Law. I learned from some of the brightest professors, and several of my former classmates have become life-long friends. Also, I met my husband at TJSL!”
Jessica King ‘01
“TJSL was the perfect school for me. I was able to find legal mentors and participate in extra-curricular activities, ensuring that I was ready for the road ahead. TJSL prepared me for work in the corporate sector, in the small firm setting, and for solo practice. I have served on the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee Panel and now serve as a member of the Wisconsin State Senate. When opportunity knocked, I was ready to take the challenge thanks to TJSL.”
Keith Bremer ‘91
“My experience in law school is really the foundation/cornerstone of my firm and my career. I had a great learning experience in law school which prepared me for the war ahead – the practice of law/trials.”
Honorable Lillian Y. Lim ‘77
“Being just 5 feet tall, I know the analogy is a stretch, but for me being a graduate of Thomas Jefferson is like having a 6th player on my NBA team. TJSL is the 6th man. We graduates are scrappers, survivors and practical practitioners of the law. Our connection as TJSL graduates, in my experience, is closer and more supportive than among graduates from other schools.”
Susie Lorden ‘08
“I will always be grateful to Thomas Jefferson School of Law for its generous LSAT scholarship and excellent part-time program, which allowed me to continue working full-time at the California Attorney General’s Office while attending law school at night. I am extremely proud of TJSL for maintaining its strong part-time program that gives working adults like me the ability to attend law school. I think TJSL’s commitment to working students is part of its overall philosophy of providing dedicated, caring professors who teach practical law to students who are eager to learn and want to pass the bar. Students at TJSL tend to have a real camaraderie, and I hope to continue those relationships by acting as the leader of the TJSL D.C. alumni group.”
The Fenelli Family - Katie Fenelli ‘05, Karianne Fenelli Welch ‘03, Amy Fenelli Ciftcikara ‘01
“TJSL gave me the foundation and confidence to take the knowledge I learned while in Law School, and transition to practicing in the real world. I am very thankful for the close knit community and family-like atmosphere of TJSL,” said Amy Fenelli Ciftcikara ‘01.
“TJSL provided a great environment to learn and helped me in establishing the fundamental background to practice law. I look back at my time at TJSL with fond memories,” said Karianne Fenelli Welch ‘03.
“The education and experience I received from TJSL was the cornerstone in establishing my legal career. The professors at TJSL prepared me to pass the bar and provided me with the knowledge to practice law. I am very thankful for my time and experiences at TJSL,” said Katie Fenelli ‘05.
“I am impressed by TJSL and how well TJSL prepared my daughters for private practice,” said Rick Fenelli of his three daughters.
Robin Sommers ‘03
“The legal education I received at TJSL provided me with a solid foundation in cutting-edge legal issues that I've drawn from in counseling my clients and upon which I also rely for my own entrepreneurial pursuits.”
Michele M. Castillo ‘99
“I can honestly say that I had the time of my life in law school! Not only did I receive a solid legal education, but I had the opportunity to hone my leadership skills and form lasting friendships with many of my classmates. I look upon my time at TJSL with great fondness.”
G. Cole Casey ‘96
“I was fortunate enough to be in my second year, taking Evidence from Marjorie Cohn, during the OJ Simpson trial. Professor Cohn was a commentator on the news for that trial and it was in the news every single day, so we really got to see the evidence code played out in real time while we were learning it.”
Julie Garland ‘95
“I was fortunate enough to have Justice Patricia Benke and judicial attorney Jack Carney from the Fourth Appellate District as my professors for first year legal writing. At the end of the year, they encouraged me to extern at the Court of Appeal during my second year, which of course I was thrilled to do. And, because both were former attorneys at the Attorney General's office, I became very interested in criminal law and the AG's office in particular. I clerked at the AG’s Office full-time the following summer and half-time for my entire third year. It was a fabulous experience and I just knew that this was where I wanted to have a career.”
Kendall Berkey ‘94
“I am profoundly grateful to the TJSL community for providing me with a well-rounded and comprehensive legal education which not only gave me the necessary foundation and tools to become a respected and capable lawyer but also gave me the knowledge and ability to view matters from a holistic perspective and to understand and accept other views. This education and also the relationships that I have forged as a result of attending and being a part of TJSL have allowed me to grow personally and professionally in a way that I am proud of and deeply appreciate. My giving back to TJSL through financial contributions and time is yet a small token of my tremendous appreciation for TJSL’s significant contributions to my life.”
Ruben Arizmendi ‘81
“My experience at TJSL helped me realize that my goal is to help people better their lives by educating and advising them of their legal options, with the hope that their tomorrow is a happier and healthier one as a result of my work. If I can help people resolve their legal issues, and that brings them peace of mind, then I've succeeded. I am very grateful to TJSL for the opportunities, and I show my gratitude by giving back to people I interact with, clients, other professionals and students. By teaching classes at TJSL and community colleges, I hope to inspire the next generation of legal professionals to do great things for people who have needs with which we can help them.”
Marc D. Adelman ‘77
“I have always felt the responsibility to give something back to the school. As a former member of the Board of Trustees, Adjunct Professor, member of the TJSL Hall of Fame, and frequent speaker, the long-standing relationship with TJSL motivates my desire to see it succeed and continue in scholastic excellence. The extraordinary accomplishments of alumni and the efforts by current leadership demonstrate the ongoing commitment by all to achieve new milestones.”
Pamela Rivera 3L
“Professor Semeraro, I would like to express my sincerest and deepest gratitude for your kind words in the letter of recommendation you wrote for me. I have been told by different judges that your heartfelt recommendations have made my application stand out from the rest. Personally, this whole process has been extremely taxing given the fact that with such a large number of applications, I am also bound to receive rejections. Nevertheless, this process is worth every hour I have spent setting up my profile on OSCAR, every envelope I have stuffed with paper application materials, every cover letter I have written, and every paper cut I have received. Thank you.”
Magistrate Judge Jennifer Carroll ‘10
“The academic rigor of Thomas Jefferson School of Law, the faculty support, and small classroom numbers ensured that I obtained a quality legal education so that after graduation, I was well prepared to enter the legal profession and be successful. The best advice I could give to new TJSL graduates is to be resilient and resourceful. Inevitably, there will be hardships and obstacles that you will have to overcome such as a competitive job market, but you have to be willing to explore new practice areas and make connections with potential employers. Thomas Jefferson School of Law equips its students for such fortitude.”
Daniel Dowling ‘14
“The TJSL community is amazing in their willingness to assist in furthering student’s careers. Down the line, the professors are brilliant, know the material, and know how to teach it. Their propensity for an open door policy applies to everything including not just class material, but career path advice, and sometimes even 'just' life. But be proactive in making the connections and conversations happen, don’t just lie in hope that they will find you.”
For those considering transferring to TJSL, please visit our Transfer Information page.
In addition to our JD programs, we conveniently offer online graduate programs which offer students the ability to build their expertise in international law. Both our LL.M. and J.S.M. graduate programs are offered entirely in an online format.
San Diego is not only paradise, but offers unmatched legal and economic opportunities in addition to its cultural and recreational advantages.