Hastings College of the Law was founded in 1878 by Serranus Clinton Hastings, the first Chief Justice of the State of California. On March 26, 1878, the Legislature provided for affiliation with the University of California. Hastings is the oldest law school and one of the largest public law schools in the western United States. Policy for the College is established by the Board of Directors and is carried out by the Chancellor and Dean and other officers of the College. The Board has 11 directors: one is an heir or representative of S.C. Hastings and the other 10 are appointed by the Governor and approved by a majority of the Senate. Directors serve for 12-year terms. Hastings is a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools and is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. The Juris Doctor degree is granted by The Regents of the University of California and is signed by the President of the University of California and the Chancellor and Dean of Hastings College of the Law.
The mission of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law is to provide an academic program of the highest quality, based upon scholarship, teaching, and research, to a diverse student body and to ensure that its graduates have a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the law and are well-trained for the multiplicity of roles they will play in a society and profession that are subject to continually changing demands and needs.