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Our Story – Drivon School of Law
(209) 478-0800

Our Story

Founded in 1951, we remain faithful to our original goal: providing a night program so that hard-working students could fulfill their dream while holding full- or part-time jobs. We offer a professional program, leading to a Juris Doctor degree and preparing students for the California State Bar examination.

Our goal is to develop the next generation of lawyers who protect the public interest, behave responsibly and ethically, and leave this institution with a knowledge of substantive and procedural law. We aim to keep classes small, keep professors engaged, and promote the idea that there is more to being a lawyer than intellectual understanding.


Humphreys dates its founding in the fall term of 1896, when John R. Humphreys, Sr., assumed academic administration of the Stockton Business College, Normal School, and Telegraphic Institute. There are scattered records and some graduating class pictures in the files of the College dating back to 1875. The College has been in continuous service to the central San Joaquin Valley since that time, making it the first institution of higher education in the area. The philosophy and objectives of its founder have remained with the College, as a small, independent College dedicated to post-secondary education and serving the educational needs of its students and the community.

In 1937 the founder of the College died and his son, John R. Humphreys, Jr., who had assumed academic administration of the College in 1934, became the second President. The name of the College changed several times since its inception, becoming known as “Humphreys College” on July 25, 1947, when it was reorganized and incorporated as a nonprofit educational corporation under the California Education Code. Under this corporate charter and related bylaws, Humphreys College is held exclusively for educational purposes by a Board of Trustees whose membership consists of alumni, educators, distinguished citizens, and friends of the College.

In 1950 the Trustees established a non-accredited, four-year night law school. Shortly thereafter, a law school campus was established in Fresno, but this campus no longer exists under Humphreys College control. In 1973, the Trustees took the first steps toward accreditation of the law school by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the California State Bar. This accreditation
was granted in August of 1983.

In 1965, the Trustees provided funds for the construction of a new academic building in north Stockton, with the campus moving to its current location in 1966. In 1974, construction was started on the student center, the student housing complex, and recreational facilities, which have since been eliminated to make room for a new classroom building.

In 1972, the College was accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. In June of 1992, the College was accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of WASC. Therefore, all certificates and degrees granted by the College (including the School of Law) are accredited.

In 1980, administration of the College was assumed by Robert G. Humphreys, grandson of the founder, upon the retirement of John R. Humphreys, Jr., thereby becoming the College’s third President.

In 1987, Humphreys College began offering courses through Modesto Junior College, eventually establishing a campus in Modesto.

In 1991, the College purchased four buildings west of the Stockton campus student housing complex. Renovations of the buildings allowed the College to add new undergraduate and law libraries, classrooms, faculty offices, law school administrative offices, the Registrar’s Office, study lounges, and conference room facilities.

The College again expanded its physical facilities in 2004, when it added two new buildings totaling approximately 24,000 square feet. The College’s libraries were moved to a new library building which houses both the law and undergraduate libraries as well as administrative offices for the newly renamed Laurence Drivon School of Law. The classroom
and office building added another eight classrooms to the College and includes 18 faculty offices, several administrative offices, and a student lounge. A large central courtyard provides an attractive location for students to sit and study outside and is used for commencement ceremonies. In 2010, the College began construction of another classroom building, providing
an additional ten classrooms, and replacing the dorm facility, which was torn down to provide space. The additional space was necessitated by the significant growth in enrollment beginning in 2007 and bring total enrollment in excess of 1,200 students.

Upon the retirement of Robert G. Humphreys in 2015, the trustees of the College appointed Robert G. Humphreys Jr., great-grandson of the founder, as the College’s fourth President. Throughout its long history, the College has provided quality instruction at the postsecondary level. While kept current, the curriculum today is still clearly related to the curriculum as it was when the College was founded, focusing on both liberal arts and career preparation. The expansion of the College, both in Stockton and Modesto, shows the commitment Humphreys College has to the community and the growth of educational opportunities for all.