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First Year Law Student Guide: "Hidden" UCLA Campus Gems

This guide provides resources to help new UCLA law students get started with Law School and become more familiar with the Law Library, UCLA and Westwood.


If you know where to look, you can find some amazing (and mostly free) things to see and do around the UCLA campus. Some of these are obvious, but some are probably unknown even to people who have been at UCLA for years. All are worth your time, so be sure to add them to your list of things to do.

Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden
Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden

The "Gems"

  • Center for the Art of Performance (CAP) at UCLA -- In the not-so-free department, UCLA Students can usually get $15 tickets to CAP events. This is really a great opportunity to see world class entertainment on a budget.
  • Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden --This one is closest to the Law School--it's practically in our backyard (just keep going north past LuValle Commons)! It is considered "One of the most distinguished outdoor sculpture collections in the country."  The garden covers 5 acres of North Campus and features works by Calder, Rodin, Noguchi, Matisse, Miro and more! If you are extra stressed, head out to the Sculpture Garden for a picnic lunch! (Tours are also available).
  • Film & Television Archive (FATA) Screenings -- FATA holds regular screenings of their collection in the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum in Westwood.  Tickets are normally $10 (and occasionally admission is free).  Screenings are usually double features and often include a talk by someone associated with the films or with specialized knowledge about them. 
  • Fowler Museum -- A fantastic museum right here on campus and admission is free! According to their Web site: "The Fowler Museum at UCLA explores global arts and cultures with an emphasis on works from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas—past and present."  This museum is not to be missed! Check their event calendar for interesting upcoming events.
  • Hammer Museum - Slightly off campus (northeast corner of Westwood and Wilshire) you will find the UCLA Hammer Museum. Admission is always free for everyone.
  • Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden -- Located on the southern part of campus (just east of the Center for Health Sciences), this 7 acre garden includes plant specimens from all over the world.  Admission is free and tours can be arranged for groups of eight or more.  Another great way to spend your lunch time.
  • Planetarium Show and Telescope Viewing -- Did you even know there was a planetarium on campus? Don't expect a Pink Floyd laser light show, but do expect informative talks on topics such as "Life in the Universe" and "New Horizons Mission to Pluto."  A telescope viewing takes place after every planetarium show. The planetarium and telescope are located on the 8th floor of the Mathematical Sciences building and are part of the Astronomy and Astrophysics department.  The shows are most Wednesday nights. This is another freebie! 
  • School of Theater, Film & Television -- Has film screenings and plays on an almost weekly basis.  Sign up for the email list and receive periodic invitations to see shows for free.
  • UCLA Meteorite Collection -- Last, but not least, literal hidden gems on campus (3697 Geology Building)! According to the website: "The UCLA Collection of Meteorites is the largest on the West Coast and contains over 2500 samples from about 1500 different meteorites. It is the fifth largest collection of meteorites in the United States and the second largest housed at a university." The Gallery is open to the public weekdays from 9am - 4pm and on Sundays from 1pm to 4pm when it is staffed with volunteer docents. Admission is always free.