In 1947, California legislation appropriated one million dollars to the UC Regents to build a law school facility at UCLA. Chapter 1557 of the Statutes of 1947 enacted Assembly Bill 1361. AB 1361 was introduced as a result of a study by a Subcommittee on Higher Education that made recommendations for a new building for Hastings Law School and recommended that a law school be created in Southern California. The overall effort was part of a massive state construction and expansion of services to respond to the end of World War II, as many GI’s decided to remain in California.
A letter from State Senator Gerald O’Gara to Governor Earl Warren sought Warren’s approval of the bill with these words: “I know that at present many Southern Californians who desire first-class legal educations are forced to attend law schools in Northern California to secure them. The results are that a large number of Southern Californians either receive mediocre legal educations or are forced to spend a great deal of money which they cannot afford in order to attend the Northern California schools or private Southern California schools. I also believe that the Los Angeles Area deserves a State-operated law school.” Comments from the oral history of Rosenthal convey a similar sentiment.