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Our History

Thomas Jefferson School of Law was founded in 1969 as the San Diego campus of Western State University College of Law, a privately-owned institution based in Fullerton, California. The San Diego branch was located in downtown San Diego and offered Juris Doctor Degrees to working professionals who could attend law school only part-time in the evenings.

Early Years

As the law program gained popularity, local students began asking school leaders to start a full-time law program. To accommodate the need, the school relocated in 1983 to a new, larger campus in historic Old Town San Diego, just a few miles north of downtown San Diego. Soon, the school had flourishing full-time and part-time programs. 

As it grew, the school became known for its high-quality teachers, for the individual attention and support it provided its students, and for its commitment to providing opportunities to non-traditional students from all walks of life. 

Our Recent History

  • 1995: TJSL becomes an independent school and is renamed Thomas Jefferson School of Law. 
  • 2001: TJSL becomes a private, non-profit institution. 
  • 2010: TJSL returns to its roots in downtown San Diego—in the heart of the city’s legal community.

Your Law Degree Starts Here

Thomas Jefferson School of Law has evolved into an innovative, cutting-edge law school devoted to the individual needs and the success of its students and alumni. A law degree from TJSL is just the beginning. Join our more than 7,000 alumni and pursue your degree full-time, part-time in one of our JD or LLM programs online or on campus.

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