Southwestern is the only American Bar Association-approved law school offering four programs of study leading to a J.D. degree that differ in scheduling and instructional approach. In addition to traditional full-time day and part-time evening programs, Southwestern has developed two innovative options: PLEAS, one of the only part-time day programs in the country designed to meet the needs of students with child or elder care responsibilities, and SCALE®, a unique two-year J.D. course of instruction with an alternative approach.
The required traditional curriculum includes 17 courses, while nearly 200 elective courses, more than 150 externship placements and three clinical programs allow students to design a broad-based legal education or emphasize an area of law. In addition, summer programs on campus and abroad, diverse cocurricular programs, and a multitude of enriching extracurricular activities enable students to customize the law school experience to suit their needs.
Recently recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for innovation, Southwestern's cutting-edge first-year curriculum provides a unique opportunity for J.D. students to choose one of three tracks in their legal research and writing course - appellate, negotiation or trial advocacy - and to take an elective as early as their second semester. Recent upper division enhancements include a January intersession, capstone courses, and special "mini-term" courses taught by international legal experts.
Southwestern has also established exciting new dual-degree affiliations with the Drucker Graduate School of Management of Claremont Graduate University for a J.D./M.B.A. and J.D./M.A. in Management, as well as California State University, Dominguez Hills for a unique J.D./M.A. in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding. For those who already have a law degree, LL.M. programs are offered in individualized studies and entertainment and media law.