Blatt (plaintiff) was a student at the University of Southern California law school (the University) (defendant). Blatt contends that the University, among others, told him that he would become eligible for admission to the Order of the Coif, a honorary legal society, if he graduated in the top ten percent of his class. Blatt graduated with the rank of number 4 in his class, placing him in the top ten percent. Blatt was not admitted to the society. Blatt filed suit seeking to compel his admission to the society through injunctive and declaratory relief. The trial court dismissed the action. Blatt appealed to the Court of Appeal of California.