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History and Mission


The goal of Lincoln Law School of San Jose is to provide a superior legal education to its students culminating in the conferral of the Juris Doctor Degree and certification to sit for the California Bar Examination. Lincoln Law School of San Jose seeks a diverse student body and to provide opportunity to those who are academically qualified for the study and practice of law.

History of the School

In the early 1900's, Dr. Benjamin and Susan Lickey founded a law school in San Francisco aimed at helping veterans and other adults acquire law degrees through a part-time evening course of study, thus creating one of San Francisco's first evening adult education programs. Additional subjects were added, and within a few years the school became part of a larger university curriculum. In 1926, the new institution, Lincoln University, was chartered as a private, non-sectarian college; in 1949, it was incorporated as a non-profit institution.

In 1961, under the leadership of E. Barbara Jorss and Dean Jerome Sack, a second campus was opened in San Jose. The San Jose campus quickly developed a reputation as a center of innovative legal training and legal discourse. During the 1970's, Lincoln University broke new ground by producing a ten-part cable television series featuring panel discussions by local attorneys and judges, which addressed legal issues of concern to the San Francisco and San Jose communities.

By 1987, Lincoln University's entire law school program was concentrated in San Jose. In 1993, the San Jose campus formally separated from Lincoln University becoming an independent, public benefit, non-profit corporation, changing its name to Lincoln Law School of San Jose. In the same year, the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California conferred accreditation on the Law School.

Our Alumni have gone on to become judges, governmental officials, lawyers, successful business people and community leaders. Some notable examples include: Kenneth Fung ('32), the first Chinese-American to be admitted to practice law in California; Presidential Fellow, Chris Moore, of the San Jose Police Department; City Council member and vice mayor, Dave Cortese and former City Council member, Linda J. LeZotte; Superior Court Judges Hugh F. Mullen, Ronald Lisk, Linda Condron; Teresa Guerrero-Daley; Workers' Compensation Judge Adoralida Padilla; and Commissioners Harold Cole, James L. Heath and Constance Jiminez. Over 18 members of the Santa Clara County Bench have either studied, taught, or served as Trustees of the Law School.

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