Skip to main content

Message From the Dean

NWCU Law Dean, Michael P. Clancey

Northwestern California University is a non-traditional law school. It arose from the needs of those who desired to study law but because of financial limitations, family responsibilities, geographic location, time constraints, etc., could not attend a regular classroom type law school.

History is filled with the names of famous American lawyers and jurists who, for one reason or another, came to the Bar after having been taught in law outside of a standard law school setting. Persons like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, (Harvard) Dean Roscoe Pound, Robert Jackson (Chief U.S. Prosecutor at Nuremberg and U.S. Supreme Court Justice), Clarence Darrow, and many more, either spent little time in law school or, in the example of Lincoln, never even saw the inside of a law school. They had in common a burning desire to learn law and mentors to guide them in their quest.

The information you will find in the pages that follow will give you a sense of all our school of law has to offer its students. Through a combination of online coursework, classes, audio and video recorded lectures, and textbook study, the school provides opportunities to those interested in a four-year, online Juris Doctor degree program.

We at Northwestern California University commend you in your pursuit of higher knowledge. Abraham Lincoln once wrote to a young student interested in studying law, telling him:

"Get the books, and read and study them till you understand them in their principal features; and that is the main thing... Your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing."

Our school’s innovative; quality Juris Doctor program will help you succeed. It is exceptional not because the school has been in existence for over four decades, since 1982; but instead, the school has been in existence for that period of time because its Juris Doctor program is exceptional.

I now invite you to discover in your reading of the other pages of this website some of the many aspects of what makes the online law study community of Northwestern California University an extraordinary place to learn.

Very Truly Yours,
Michael P. Clancey


“The study of law is a significant part of the search for justice in society. It should be available to everyone, including the poor, working class people and those who live and work in cities far away from traditional schools, without unreasonable restraints and limitations. ” – Michael P. Clancey, Dean

“There is no jewel in the world comparable to learning; no learning so excellent as knowledge of laws.” – Sir Edward Coke, Famous English Barrister, Jurist, and Politician