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    TCS Education System
  Apr 18, 2024
2022-2023 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum [Archived Catalog]

Institution and Accreditation

2.1 Institutional Identity and Degrees Offered

  1. The School is incorporated in California as The Colleges of Law, a nonprofit, public benefit corporation recognized as tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service and California Franchise Tax Board. Its website URL is:; its password-protected Student Gateway (“Gateway”) URL is: It operates two campuses:
  Santa Barbara campus Ventura campus
  20 E. Victoria St. 4475 Market St.
  Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Ventura, CA 93003
  (805) 979-9860 (805) 765-9300


  1. The School offers four educational degree programs, as described in this Catalog:

Juris Doctor (JD) , an evening program with onsite classes, offered at both campuses

Hybrid Juris Doctor (HJD) , an online program with onsite residences at the Ventura campus

Master of Arts in Law (MA in Law) , an online program.

Master of Legal Studies (MLS) , an online program that is not accepting new students

  1. The School is an affiliate of TCS Education System (TCS), a charitable, tax-exempt entity identified under IRS regulations as a Type II supporting organization because it supports its affiliates, including the School, in the advancement and achievement of their missions. TCS maintains its offices at 203 N. LaSalle Drive, Ste 1900, Chicago, IL 60601; its telephone number is (312) 379-1699.

2.2 Mission and Vision Statements

  1. Mission
    The mission of The Colleges of Law is to provide access to law and law-related professions, through emphasizing opportunity, academic excellence and community engagement. (Adopted by Board of Trustees, April 27, 2018.)
  2. Vision
    To be a pioneer in modernizing legal education. (Adopted by Board of Trustees, April 27, 2018.)

2.3 Accreditation and Bar Eligibility

  1. Accreditation and State Authorization
    The School is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California as a single institution with two campuses. In keeping with our mission to offer excellent yet accessible legal education, the School has neither sought, nor presently expects to obtain, accreditation from the American Bar Association.

    The School is also accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100 Alameda, CA 94501, (510) 748-9001. WSCUC is a regional accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and serves higher education institutions primarily in the western United States.
  2. State Authorization
    For information on where The Colleges of Law is currently authorized, licensed, registered, exempt or not subject to authorization, please visit
  3. JD Program Information
    Students who enroll in a Juris Doctor program, other than students admitted as “special students,” are not required by the State Bar to sit for the First Year Law Students’ Examination. JD graduates are eligible to sit for the California Bar Exam and, upon passing the exam and meeting the State Bar’s other admission requirements, eligible to practice law in California. The following language is provided by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California:

    Study at, or graduation from The Colleges of Law may not qualify a student to take the bar examination or be admitted to practice law in jurisdictions other than California. A student who intends to seek admission to practice outside of California should contact the admitting authority in that jurisdiction for information regarding its education and admission requirements.
  4. MLS and MA in Law Program Information
    The MLS and MA in Law programs do not qualify graduates to sit for California’s Bar Examination, nor do they satisfy requirements for admission to practice law in California. Prospective students who wish to practice law should consider the J.D. program after carefully reviewing the J.D. program information in this section. Please read the following statement, which is provided in compliance with State Bar requirements:
  5. Except as provided in rule 4.30 of the Admissions Rules (Legal Education in a foreign state or country), completion of a professional law degree program at this law school other than for the Juris Doctor degree does not qualify a student to take the California Bar Examination or satisfy the requirements for admission to practice law in California. It may not qualify a student to take the bar examination or to satisfy requirements for admission to the practice of law in any other jurisdiction. A student intending to seek admission to practice law should contact the admitting authority in the jurisdictions where the student intends to qualify to sit for the bar examination or to be admitted to practice for information regarding their legal education requirements.

2.4 Governing Boards, Administration, and Faculty

  1. General Provisions
    The School is governed by the Board of Trustees and the Fiduciary Council, which approves strategic goals and final budgets set by the Board. The Board has delegated authority for daily operations of the School to the President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO); the Dean serves as Chief Academic Officer.
  2. Fiduciary Council members for the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year include:
  Edward Bergmark, PhD
George Mitchell
Richard Chaifetz, PsyD
Michael Horowitz, PhD
Jana Johnston, JD

Kevin Kotecki, MBA
Douglas Patinkin
Matthew Nehmer, PhD
Mary Pattiz, PhD
Patricia Potter, MBA

  1. Board of Trustees members for the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year include:
  Jana Johnston, JD (Chair) Bernie Luskin, EdD
  Richard Winn, EdD (Vice-Chair)
Matthew Nehmer, PhD
  Farfalla Borahm, JD
  Carlita Shelton
  Michelle Castillo, JD
  Casey Summar, JD
  Art Hernandez Catharine Swysen, JD
  Michael Horowitz, PhD  
  Betty Jeppesen, JD  
  1. Administrative Staff includes:
  Oscar Herrera Student Services Coordinator, Santa Barbara and online
  Alexis Burdick, MA Business Manager and Special Assistant to the President
  Barbara Doyle Registrar/Assistant Dean/Disabilities Coordinator
  Jeannette Eicks Associate Dean of Graduate and Lifelong Learning Programs
  April Frisby, JD Associate Dean of Academic Success and Bar Preparation
  Andrea Funk, JD Associate Dean of Hybrid and Online Learning
  Jackie Gardina, JD Dean/Chief Academic Office/Professor of Law
  Jessica King Student Services Coordinator, Hybrid JD
  Jennifer Mackie Student Services Coordinator, Ventura
  Matthew Nehmer, PhD President
  Mehul Patel, MBA CFO 
  Brandy Price, JD Associate Dean of Hybrid and Online Learning
  Rosalie Robles Program Manager of Hybrid and Online Programs
  Shannon Stark Enrollment Counselor
  Shawn Taylor, MA Director, Admissions
  Christian Winnewisser, MA Program Manager of Onsite and Special Programs/Assistant Registrar
  1. Faculty members committed to teach in the 2022-2023 Academic Year are listed below. Others who have taught recently and who may teach in upcoming terms are listed on the School’s website.

1. Full-time Faculty (law degrees/school/graduation years)

Jackie Gardina, JD, Boston College Law School ‘99 (Dean)
Jeannette Eicks, JD, Vermont Law School ‘96 (Associate Dean of Graduate and Lifelong Learning Programs)
April Frisby, JD, Whittier Law School, ‘09 (Associate Dean of Academic Support and Bar Preparation)
Andrea Funk, JD, UCLA, ‘90, (Associate Dean of Hybrid and Online Learning)
Brandy Price, JD, Univ. of Pennsylvania Law School ‘06 (Associate Dean of Hybrid and Online Learning)

2. Adjunct Faculty (law degrees/school/graduation years)

  Lani Baron, JD, Whittier Law School, ‘11    
  Lydia Lai, JD, UCLA ‘90
  Erica Bristol, JD, UCLA, ‘99
  Paul Larsen, JD, UCLA ‘88
  The Hon. Michael Carrozzo, JD, Loyola, ‘92
  Julie Lawrence, JD, The Colleges of Law ‘12
  Jared Carter, JD, Vermont Law School, ‘09
  Lori Lewis, JD, The Colleges of Law ‘90
  Julie Casey, JD, Notre Dame Law School, ‘03 Monique Magar, JD, Notre Dame Law School ‘12
  Peter Cooney, JD, UC Hastings, ‘72 Cynthia Mexia, JD, Whittier Law School, ‘11
  The Hon. Von Nguyen Deroian, JD, The Colleges of Law, ‘06 JiAe Moon, JD, Loyola, ‘98
  Debra Doby, JD, Vermont Law School, ‘09 Lauren Nicholson, JD, The Colleges of Law, ‘17
  Jason Dominguez, JD, UC Berkeley, ‘95 David Nyssen, JD, UC Davis, ‘90
  Steve Feder, JD, Univ. of San Diego, ‘82, LL.M., ‘87 Thomas Officer, LL.B. University of Edinburgh, ‘11, LL.M., Vermont Law School, ‘12
  Jack Futoran, JD, The Colleges of Law, ‘98 Roger Pao, JD, Harvard Law, ‘06
  Brooke Gerard, JD, Loyola Law School, ‘90 Jill Reza, JD, USC, ‘02
  Gisele Goetz, JD, UC Hastings, ‘85 Gary Rosenberg, JD, Southwestern Univ. SOL, ‘78
  Dale Gooden, MBA, ULV, ‘11, DHSc, ATSU, ‘17, EJD, ‘21 Mark Saatijian, JD, Loyola, ‘05
  William Gynan, USC, ‘08 The Hon. Anthony Sabo, Univ. of ND, ‘92
  Atossa Jackson, JD, Thomas Jefferson SOL, ‘10 Robert Sanger, JD, UCLA, ‘73
  Olwen Jaffee James Scafide, JD, Boston College, ‘99, LL.M., Harvard, ‘02
  Damon Jenkins, JD, Univ. of San Francisco, ‘10 Tracy Splitgerber, JD, California Western SOL, ‘94
  Joseph Jones, JD, The Colleges of Law, ‘09 Eric Springfield, JD, Vermont Law School, ‘20
  Craig Smith, JD, UC Hastings, ‘76 Jake Stoddard, JD, Loyola, ‘77
  Vanessa Kirker-Wright, JD, The Colleges of Law, ‘89 Lacy Taylor, JD, The Colleges of Law, ‘15
  Christopher Kroes, JD, The Colleges of Law, ‘87  
  Jeanne Kvale, JD, Pepperdine, ‘95  

3. Adjunct Faculty - Academic Advisors (law degrees/school/graduation years)

Kata Kim, JD, The Colleges of Law, ‘10
Virginia Fuentes, JD, The Colleges of Law, ‘14
Nicole Rommero, JD, Drake Law School, ‘13

2.5 Administration Office

  1. General Provisions
    Unless the context otherwise makes clear, the term Administration Office denotes the Administration Office at the campus where the student is principally enrolled (onsite JD students at the campus they attend, hybrid JD students at the Ventura campus, MLS and MA in Law students at the Santa Barbara campus). Students should contact the Administration Office for information about the School’s curriculum and policies, to make appointments with the Dean, to inquire about Veterans’ benefits, and to attend to other matters referred to in this Catalog.
  2. Administration Office Hours During Terms (Closed on Holidays.)

      Ventura Campus: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 10 a.m - 6:30 p.m; Tuesday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Friday by appointment only

      Santa Barbara Campus: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Friday by appointment only

      Emergency messages cannot be relayed after 6:30 p.m. on class nights or on weekends and holidays, as the Office is closed.

Administration Office Hours Intercession at Both Campuses: 9:00am - 5:00pm

  1. Transcripts and Student File Reviews

    A student’s request to review their student file must be made in writing to the Registrar. Hard copies of the student’s digital file will be made available to the student at the Administration Office within 45 business days. A student who believes that information in their education record is inaccurate, or misleading may submit a written request to the Registrar to amend the information. See Section 3.7  for details on file review and amendment requests.  Requests for official copies of transcripts must be in writing. A charge of $15.00 will be made for each transcript requested. Students who are not in good financial standing with The Colleges of Law will not be eligible to receive a transcript.
  2. Requests for Administrative or Faculty Action

    All requests for action by the Administration or Faculty must be made in writing, dated and signed by the student, and submitted to the Administration Office. Submissions must clearly state what action the student requests. Submissions must fulfill any applicable requirements set forth elsewhere in this Catalog (for example, as applicable to requests for disability accommodation, petitions for change of grade or probation, etc.). Where a form is available for the purpose sought by the student, the form should be used. Forms are found on the Gateway. Inquiries not set forth in writing will be treated as casual inquiries; students should assume that casual inquiries will not be acted upon by the School, administrative staff, or faculty.

2.6 Facilities

  1. Description of Facilities

    Each school has a physical campus where instruction for the Juris Doctor degree program is held.  The Santa Barbara campus consists of a single-story building of approximately 8,000 square feet, with four classrooms, a library, a student lounge, and faculty and administrative office space.  The Ventura campus consists of a two-story building of approximately 20,000 square feet, with six classrooms, a library, a student lounge/common room, and faculty and administrative office space.
  2. Parking Regulations
    1. At the Ventura campus, the parking lot is for use by students only while attending classes or otherwise participating in campus activity. Under no circumstances is overnight parking allowed.
    2. At the Santa Barbara campus, the parking lot is always restricted to staff ONLY. On-street parking and a city parking lot are available for students. The Santa Barbara campus can be reached by a variety of alternative means including bicycle, bus, shuttle, or by foot. A student intending to take Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District transportation to and from campus for class may submit a bus pass reimbursement request to the Administration Office.
  3. Facilities Regulations
    Smoking is prohibited by law in the School’s buildings and within 25 feet of them. Eating in the classrooms is prohibited except by express permission during special school activities.  Drinking from non-spillable containers is allowed during class session but is prohibited during examinations. Outside doors at the Santa Barbara campus may not be propped open.
  4. Campus Visitors
    Campus facilities are open for use only by enrolled students and invited guests of the School. With prior permission of the administration, an adult guest may accompany an enrolled student to a class session. However, to enhance the educational experience of all students and to promote safety, the facilities are not open to minor children and pets.

2.7 Transcripts

COL maintains a permanent record of any student who was or is enrolled in a course.  The transcript may be changed only upon a showing of cause, in writing, authorized by the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee.  Requests for a change to a student’s transcript must be made in accordance with Sections 10.6 (JD) and 16.3 (MLS and MA in Law) of this Catalog.