Skip to main content

Thomas Jefferson School of Law
San Diego, California

Our Residential and Online Law Degrees Prepare Students For Careers in Law

Thomas Jefferson School of Law is a private, non-profit, California law school that has been preparing students for careers in law since 1969. We offer residential and online JD degrees as well as graduate LLM degree programs in American Legal Studies and in Practice Skills. Located in the heart of San Diego, California, Thomas Jefferson is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California and by the Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Flexible law programs allow students to enroll full- or part-time, attend classes in the daytime, evening, or online, and start in the Summer, Fall, or Spring. Students also may accelerate graduation and earn their degree in as little as two and a half years.

Our curriculum includes fellowship programs in Criminal Law as well as Intellectual Property Law, Entertainment, and Sports Law. It also includes a three-week summer abroad program on the French Riviera in the city of Nice.

Many students want the experience of representing real clients as part of their training in law school. Thomas Jefferson offers its students many opportunities to do this in its live client clinics on campus and its externship program in which students work with lawyers in law offices off campus.

Professor Frantz Farreau Teaches Property, Evidence, and Legal Writing

Experienced Faculty

As industry professionals, our faculty draw from a wide range of experiences. Some have litigated before the World Court and U.S. Supreme Court, and others have authored books and produced research published in leading journals and cited in courts across the country. You can literally learn from professors who wrote the book.

Meet Our Faculty

Law Degree Programs At Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Residential JD Program

Our residential JD program includes core and elective offerings including live client clinics, Law Review, and Moot Court and Mock Trial teams. Full-time students typically graduate in three years, and part-time students in four. Graduates of the JD program are immediately eligible to take the California bar examination.

Learn More About Our JD Program

Online JD Program

Our online JD program includes core and elective offerings including live client clinics, Law Review, and Moot Court and Mock Trial teams. Full-time students typically graduate in three years, and part-time students in four. Graduates of the JD program are immediately eligible to take the California bar examination.

Learn More About Our Online JD Program

LLM Programs

Our LLM programs are 24 units, typically take one year to complete, and require a JD, LLB, or equivalent first degree in law.

Students may choose to earn an LLM in American Legal Studies, which generally enables foreign law graduates to sit for the California Bar Exam, or Practice Skills.

Learn More About Our LLM Programs

Our San Diego Location

Our campus is located in the heart of downtown San Diego. We are situated directly across the street from the California Court of Appeal and within a short walk of other courthouses, many of the city’s leading law firms, and federal, state, and local government offices.

San Diego is an ideal location in which to study the law. As America’s eighth largest city, it provides students with a vast range of professional opportunities, both while in law school and after graduation. It is also immensely livable. It offers what many consider to be the finest climate in the continental United States and is a recreational paradise, with 70 miles of beaches and both mountains and the desert only a couple of hours away.

Learn More About Our Location

Hear What Our Students & Alumni Have To Say

“When I attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, I was met with an environment that challenged me to be my best. The professors were leaders in their field, whose teaching nurtured my love of the law and made me excited to practice law as an attorney. The career services counselors were invaluable in helping me prepare for the legal career I wanted.”

Yahairah Aristy, Alumnus ‘04 – Deputy Public Defender & TJSL Adjunct Professor
Marist College and Roosevelt University

“TJSL is still one of a handful of law schools that has given a chance to many students that would have not otherwise had an opportunity to attend law school, and excel in the practice of law. My law degree helped me build a successful law practice focusing on emerging issues while helping people day-in and day-out.”

Ikechukwu Emejuru, Alumnus ‘09 – Employment, Commercial, Civil Rights, and Consumer Litigation
Virginia Commonwealth University

“I chose to go to Thomas Jefferson because I was looking for a law school where the faculty and staff cared about my success not only as a law student, but also as a person. I found that here and it has helped me grow in many areas of my life. The tight-knit community has helped the challenges of law school be much more bearable. The small class sizes make it easy to interact with my professors and fellow students. There is a true sense of community at Thomas Jefferson and you can see that by the way students interact with each other and by the way faculty care about students.”

Michael Mateo,
San Diego, CA; Grand Canyon University

“I began meeting judges and attorneys within the San Diego area during my second week of school. I had the opportunity to volunteer at our school-hosted Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) competition and watch students from other prestige law schools argue great scenarios against our own TJSL students.  Through mentorships, organization meetings and guest speakers, there will be miles of opportunities for you to emphasize your success to not only get you set up, but also to plug you into opportunities. The faculty and staff’s constant willingness to help your journey is invaluable.”

Jordan Collinsworth, Student
Bend, OR; Weber State University, B.S.

“The Patent Program at Thomas Jefferson School of Law provided me with invaluable experience working with clients, drafting patent applications, and handling filings on EFS Web. This experience set me apart from other young professionals in the field of Intellectual Property law and allowed me to hit the ground running at my first job without having to go through the typical learning curve that most new hires face.”

Hollie Kucera,
Student in the Patent Clinic,
Electrical Engineer

“I transferred to Thomas Jefferson School of Law (“TJSL”) in my 3L year, so I had the benefit of contrasting my TJSL experience with another law school.  And I found TJSL to be exceptional for various reasons.   

First, the legal instruction at TJSL is outstanding and well prepares the students for the practice of law. As a practicing first-year lawyer, I rely on the instruction and mentoring I received in my TJSL courses (such as my Trial Practice class) which has provided me with knowledge and skills to successfully serve my clients as a litigator.  

Second, TJSL had two classes that provided incredible instruction on how to take the bar exam. These classes were Bar Exam Fundamentals and MBE Mastery. Although a fundamental reason that I passed the bar on my first attempt was due to my personal commitment and discipline as a student while in law school, without the exceptional instruction on how to take the bar exam at TJSL, I do not believe I would have been successful.  All the first-time bar takers from my prior law school who took the bar exam with me failed, and 20 of the 21 repeat takers also failed. I believe if they also transferred to TJSL in their 3L year like I did, many of them would have passed the bar exam on their first try like I did. 

Third, the people at TJSL are supportive and kind.  Even as a graduate, if I called on them for support or mentorship, they would help me in my professional development. TJSL has a wonderful faculty, staff, and administration and I feel fortunate to have received my legal education through this outstanding school.”

Stephen Cochrane, Alumnus 2023, Point Loma Nazarene University, BA & MA in Special Education, Capella University, PhD in Education. San Diego, CA.

Learn Through Practice at Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Study Abroad Program

Study law in one of the few cities in the world that rivals San Diego for both climate and beauty—Nice, France. The Nice Summer Law Program encourages students to experience international law in an international setting, to exchange ideas with students from a different land, and to explore cultural differences that influence international business and legal transactions.

Study Abroad With Us

Experiential Learning Through Clinics & Internships

Our hands-on learning experiences include clinics and externships. Students learn through practice while providing invaluable service to the local community. Clinical opportunities may range from assisting military veterans with legal issues, helping small business and nonprofit entities to incorporate, obtain patents and trademarks,
and more.

See Our Clinics & Internships

Get Ready For Your Career In Law

Your law career awaits. California lawyers have the third-highest income for lawyers in the nation, with an average salary of more than $125,000. In San Diego, job growth for lawyers is accelerating in fields such as wireless telecommunications, biotechnology, and manufacturing.

Your Law Degree Starts Here

A law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law is just the beginning. Join our more than 7,000 alumni and pursue your degree full-time or part-time in one of our JD or LLM programs.

Request Information

Take A Virtual Tour

Contact Us

Apply Now

Study at, or graduation from, this Law School may not qualify a student to take the bar examination or be licensed to practice law in jurisdictions other than California. A student who intends to seek licensure to practice law outside of California at any time during their career should contact the admitting authority for information regarding its education and licensure requirements prior to enrolling at this Law School.

News & Events

Academic Calendar

Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday
January 15, 2024

Midterm Exams
February 25-27, 2024

Last Day of Classes
April 24, 2024

Review Period
April 25-30, 2024

Final Exams
May 1–10, 2024

Semester Ends
May 10, 2024

See Full Calendar

Non-Discrimination Policy

It is the policy of Thomas Jefferson School of Law to afford equal opportunity to all individuals regardless of race (including hair texture and protective hairstyles), creed, color, religion, sex (including transgender, gender, gender identity and expression), national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, military or veteran status, physical and mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, sexual orientation, or other characteristic protected by law. Our students, as well as our applicants, employees, and others with whom we do business, will not be subjected to sexual, racial, religious, ethnic, or any other form of unlawful discrimination or harassment. The law school will not condone such conduct, whether committed by an administrator, faculty member, staff person, agent, contractor or student. Nor will it permit discrimination to affect any employment, admissions, or academic decision.

An exception to our policy of non-discrimination is granted to representatives of the U.S. Department of Defense who may discriminate on a basis not permitted by our policy. This exception is made in order to avoid the loss of federal funds that would otherwise be imposed by the 1996 Solomon Amendment.