The Law Magnet Program was founded in the fall of 2012. The purpose of the program is to introduce the student to the field of law and help prepare him/her for the rigors of law school. The program is comprised of a combination of academic classes and clinical practice. Particular emphasis is placed on the ethical role lawyers play in society to ensure the rule of law is maintained and to help ensure justice is served when conflicts arise. The Law Magnet Program, like all of JSerra’s magnet programs, is a four-year program that focuses on developing the student’s written, verbal, and analytical skills. Students who are eligible for the program must demonstrate strong aptitude in these areas to be accepted into the program. Students who complete the rigorous one-of-a-kind four-year program will receive special recognition on their diploma and wear a law chord at their graduation.
The core law courses are modeled after actual law school courses and taught by an adjunct law school professor from Chapman University, Fowler School of Law, and also by licensed attorneys.
Professor Ahle, the Director of the JSerra Law Magnet Program and its founder, has taught at the Fowler School of Law since 2003. He served his community as an assistant city attorney/prosecutor for over 21 years, held several positions in contract law/administration for an additional 8 years, and also served on the San Clemente city council. Professor Ahle believes that these Law Magnet students are the future leaders of our community and he is committed to sharing his training, experience, and education with his students to make the world a better place.
Students who have participated in the Law Magnet Program have shown that they completed something very unique and different during the high school career. This has served them very well in making them stand out among their peers in the college application process. Our Law Magnet students have been accepted to universities such as Notre Dame, Cornell, UCLA, Pepperdine, UC Berkeley, Chapman, Loyola, University of San Diego, and Alabama.
The curriculum, textbooks, and instructional methods are similar to what the student will experience in law school. Core law course materials include constitutional law, criminal law, business/contract law, product liability law, property/real estate law, evidence, trial practice, legal research and writing, intellectual property law, and criminal procedure law.
Essentially, JSerra Law Magnet students are receiving a substantial amount of the curriculum taught in the first year of law school. Therefore, if they choose to go onto law school, these extensive course materials and accompanying class instruction will give them a huge advantage over other future law school students. Our students will have already seen most of the first year law school course materials before they even start law school, while many other law school students are attempting to learn the same material for the first time.
Law Magnet students learn how to raise and defend an argument; develop their analytical thinking, reasoning, and speaking skills; and write many different types of legal briefs/memoranda. In short, students will have a solid understanding of what preparation for a legal career entails.
Additionally, Law Magnet students will have completed one of three classes necessary to sit for the California Real Estate License exam, and receive college credit for the same class. Students could complete the other courses at Saddleback College online, take and pass the exam, and become licensed agents as early as the age of 18. Holding such a license at this age would enhance their later law school applications and also provide a potential source of funds to help assist parents in paying for college expenses.
Finally, students in the program will have fun! The Mock Trial program develops camaraderie and helps students forge friendships with their Law Magnet schoolmates. The program also has social activities throughout the school year that will lead to students' having fond memories of their experiences in the program.
Freshman students participating in the Law Magnet Program are also required to:
- Maintain a Weighted academic GPA of 3.5 or higher (maintained through enrollment).
- Entering freshman must: a. Submit program application with essay b. Complete the Freshman Success class in the Summer session c. Enroll in the leadership course in the Fall semester d. Maintain strong attendance/disciplinary record.
- Remit $500 fee paid prior to start of freshmen year.
- Attend and participate in all off campus events/activities.
- For students accepted into the program and a MAC user, the student must have Windows 10 installed on his/her computer by the end of September of the freshman year in order to access the evidence computer game supplied by JSerra. Also note, RT Surface computers are not capable of playing the computer game. Only the Pro version is compatible with the game.
Sophomore through senior students participating in the Law Magnet Program are also required to:
- Qualify for and enroll in required courses
- Attend/participate in all required off-campus events/activities
- Remit annual $1000 program fee prior to beginning of fall classes (grades 10- 12)
- Maintain a Weighted academic GPA of 3.5 or higher
- Maintain strong attendance/disciplinary record each year
- California State Court of Appeal Justice Richard Fybel
- Orange County Superior Court Judge Joe Perez
- Orange County Superior Court Judge Lance Jensen
- Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregg Prickett & Former Chapman Law School Adjunct Professor
- Orange County Superior Court Judge Cheri Pham
- Orange County Superior Court Judge Terri Flynn-Peister
- California State Senator Patricia Bates
- Orange County Deputy District Attorney Howard Gundy
- Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
- Orange County Assistant Public Defender Mike Perez
- Orange County Assistant Public Defender Dave Dziejowski
- Chapman University Chancellor Daniele Struppa
- Chapman University General Counsel Janine DuMontelle
- Orange County Assistant District Attorney Dennis Conway
- Michael Carroll, Partner, Latham & Watkins
- Jeff Goldfarb, Partner, Rutan & Tucker & Former San Clemente City Attorney
- Dave Djavaherian, PACTECH LAW, P.C.
- Jeoffrey Robinson, Partner with Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis‚ Inc.
- Dave Scarsone, Criminal Defense Attorney
- Matt Valance, Criminal Defense Attorney