Frequently Asked Questions

California Desert Trial Academy College Of Law

Tuition is $15,000 annually.

Tuition includes text books and study aids, i.e., Fleming’s Writing Course, Lexis Nexis. A deposit of $7,000 is due by mid-August. Thereafter, a $1,000 per month payment is due on the 1st of each consecutive month for the remainder of your academic program.

What is the schedule?

Classes for the California Bar test courses of legal study are taught on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings from 6:00 P.M. to 9:30 P.M.

Saturdays from 8:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. are devoted to test-taking techniques and practice exams. Saturday afternoons from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. are devoted to skills, values and historical perspectives.

Through CDTA Online, you can learn 24/7 via recorded live sessions.

Fall semester is fifteen (15) weeks and Spring semester is fourteen (14) weeks. Courses begin the day after Labor Day. There are no classes the week of Thanksgiving. Classes conclude in mid-December. Classes resume the third Tuesday in January and conclude in mid-May. There will be a one week break during the Spring.

What are the entry requirements?

To be admitted to the California Desert Trial Academy College of Law, a prospective student must be at least 18 years old. The applicant must have completed two years of undergraduate college work. The two years or sixty (60) undergraduate units must be in courses acceptable to the State Bar, typically an Associate of Arts degree serves as acceptable. Only those applicants who reasonably appear to be qualified to study law and reasonably appear to be likely to succeed in that study will be admitted. Adequate and appropriate screening procedures will be used to ensure persons clearly lacking in ability or educational background are not admitted or allowed to continue as students. The applicant must understand that to be admitted to the practice of law in California, the applicant must be prepared to spend four years studying the law and pass the First-Year Law Students’ Examination. Finally, the applicant must understand that he or she must have a positive “moral character” to be admitted to the practice of law in California.

Can I transfer credits?

CDTA may award transfer credit if:

The applicant has passed the First-Year Law Students’ Examination or was exempt while attending an accredited law school and had been advanced to the second year by that accredited law school;

Transfer credit typically will be approved but is not mandated, for whole courses completed not more than twenty-seven (27) months prior to beginning study at CDTA. If a student had passed the First-Year Law Students’ Examination and more than twenty-seven (27) months have passed the Dean of Students may waive the twenty-seven (27) months upon good cause shown for the delay in resuming law school. That exception and explanation will be placed in the student’s file;

If an applicant was disqualified for academic reasons at a prior law school, credit will only be granted for courses where the applicant received a grade above passing;

If an applicant was in good standing at the prior law school, credit will be granted for all passing grades;

For all applicants who have passed the First-Year Law Students’ Examination, credit will be given for Torts, Contracts and Criminal Law even if those grades at the prior law school were not above passing;

CDTA will not approve credit for a course completed at a prior law school in excess of the number of units CDTA would award for the course with the same number of classroom or participatory hours;

CDTA will seek to be satisfied that the subject matter of, the quality of the applicant’s performance in, the courses for which credit is allowed, were substantially the same as that of like courses and grades at CDTA.

We are looking for students who are honest, demonstrate integrity and present evidence of one’s ability and interest in completing the requirements of law school.

In the event that CDTA must create a waiting list, an applicant placed on the waiting list will be notified between September 1 and September 10 of any given year that the school can admit the student for the Fall term.

What will I learn?

You will learn both the hard and soft skills it takes to be an extraordinary advocate.

Hard Skills

Contracts • Torts • Criminal Law • Civil Procedure • Constitutional Law • Evidence • Real Property • Wills & Trusts • Criminal Procedure • Business Enterprises • Remedies • Professional Responsibility

Soft Skills

Negotiation skills • time management skills • writing skills • enterprise management skills • presentation skills • research skills • critical thinking skills • core values review • creative thinking skills • professionalism • appearance and grooming skills • ethics and professional conduct

How do I apply?

The California Desert Trial Academy is accepting applications for classes beginning in September. Apply online using our informal application. We will contact you for an appointment to meet with our Deans to determine if CDTA College of Law meets all of your needs.

Refund Policy

The initial $1,000 of the $7,000 deposit to enroll in the CDTA College of Law is non-refundable.

Should a student decide to withdraw from law school, such intention must be in writing addressed to the Registrar, Irene Garcia Dolan, CDTA College of Law at 45-290 Fargo Street, Indio, CA 92201. Tuition will be waived for the months remaining in the academic year beginning 30 days after the student’s written withdrawal is received. If the written withdrawal is received after the first of any month and after that month’s tuition is due, the refund will not include that month’s payment.

Refunds are issued within 30 days of eligibility and will be mailed to the student’s address on file with the Registrar’s Office.

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